I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. – M. Cole
A rather unpleasant Christian, Caroline has come out with the claim that surely christians would never ever do a mass shooting. Caroline is unfortunately a real life “Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian” with out Deven’s wit and intelligence. Caroline has been on this blog before, consistently showing how dishonest she is with everything from the sciences to her ignorance about anyone not like her.
quite a set of lies.
“We needn’t fear those who fear God And the third factor that should be fostered if we want to end these terrible tragedies is genuine faith in God. I know my children will never be on that list because they know the God who is Love and who said to love our neighbor as ourself. They know that he loves them and that they could never do something so contrary to his character and his will.”
Funny how this god said to murder people who don’t agree with it and that people deserve death and worse if they dont’ agree with it.
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6
“26 “I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.”’” Luke 19
We also have christians blowing up abortion clinics, murdering staff and doctors, and attacking members of religions not their own. I do have to wonder, does Caroline think she can lie about such things when they are public knowledge. Oh I’m sure she will claim they aren’t TrueChristian(tm), at all, the typical maneuver of someone unable to take responsiblity for what her religion causes.
and then Caroline goes onto say exactly what she claims she’s not. it’s a typical tactic from a liar who wants to be able to disavow her lies:
“Children who are raised by both natural parents who genuinely and demonstrably love them are much less likely to get up one day and decide to murder innocent people. But young men in particular who grow up without the irreplaceable influence of a father who loves them carry a void that they must find a way to fill. Many young people have never known an intact family, and others have had one irreparably broken by divorce, which can harm them just as much.”
yep, “natural” parents, showing Caroline’s bigotry and lies yet again.
“Of course I’m not saying that kids who are put in daycare will grow up to be criminals. What I am saying is that children whose mothers sacrifice a career and all the perks that go with it, who are willing to take on the responsibility of diapers, discipline, and domestic drudgery so that their little ones know the security of a mother’s near-constant presence, will probably not be on a list of mass shooters.”
Oh the poor martyr Caroline. No evidence for Caroline’s claims at all. And damn, “near constant presence”?
“Again, I’m not saying that individuals from single-parent homes who don’t believe in God are destined to be involved in criminal activity. Only that a strong foundation of family and faith is an excellent predictor of someone who will never cause such grief, heartache, and anger as every mass shooter has.
So we can talk about gun control. But it will be immensely more productive to focus instead on how we can foster stronger families and encourage rather than ridicule and restrict real, life-changing faith.”
yep, again she is exactly saying what she claims she is not. Caroline is just one more Christian nationalist, more concerned with guns than caring for people. Funny how she’s out there attacking this supposed ever so important faith, if its not her own. She typically is quite sure any christianity other than her own isn’t true.
Happily, these cults are dying out, slowly, but surely. The ignorance, fear and hate they are built on are not needed by anyone.
I’ve found a curious article about the moral argument for a god. The pastor finds it a weak argument, and I would agree with him.
The typical argument is as he presents it:
“(1) If God does not exist, then objective morality does not exist.
(2) Objective morality does exist.
(3) Therefore, God exists.”
He claims it is a “valid argument”, which should mean that the premises are true, and demonstrably so, and thus the conclusion is true.
The problem is that neither he, or any theist who offers this as an argument, can show that objective morality exists at all. The term objective can mean a few things and this is what it seems to mean in this context: “of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind and/or “expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations” (merriam-webster).
There is nothing to indicate that there morals that fit either definition.
So, #1 premise fails since there is nothing to show that any god exists, and #2 fails since there is nothing to show that objective morality exists. This makes the conclusion fail.
I’m not aware of any atheists arguing for objective morality. There could indeed be some, and there could be objective morals. We simply have no way to know as far as I can determine. (let me know if you think there is a way).
The pastor is honest in that he believes that objective morals must exist, because he thinks there is a god, not that since there is a god there must be objective morals. The problem is that he must assume that the morals he claims his god wants are indeed objective. In that eveyr other Christian makes the same claim, about different sets of morals, he, and they, must present evidence their god exist, and agrees with them.
That has yet to happen.
They also have the problem that they must assert that everything is their god’s will. Which would make the pastor’s reference to the Holocaust a problem.
“I don’t believe in objective morality.”
“Really? So, you’re saying that the Holocaust was okay?”
“No, the Holocaust was a horrible evil.”
“If there is no objective morality, then the evil of the Holocaust is just a matter of personal opinion. It would not be evil from the perspective of the participants.”
“All I know is that based on what I understand about human flourishing, the Holocaust was wrong.”
“But without objective morality, there is a possible world in which gassing and burning Jews was a good thing…”
This does not make the person asserting subjective morals look bad, it makes the theist’s base argument, “God is good” fail.
The moral argument does indeed show that many people think there is objective morality; it doesn’t show it does.
There is no absolute measure, and thus we are not moving toward or away from something that doesn’t exist. What we do see is that morals change and generally change to those that improve the existence of humans, assisting civilization. Morals may not be objective but they can be common.
The claim that objective morality is based on the will of god fails since again, there is no evidence for objective morality at all *and* that morality for Christians depends on who or what is doing something, not an objective relationship to morality and an action. If the will of this god is that it is okay for it to commit genocide, but not for humans, then morality becomes subjective.
The pastor claims this “But I believe in objective morality because I believe in God, rather than believing in God because I believe in objective morality.” Otherwise
“(1) If God does exist, then objective morality does exist.
There is nothing new here at all. But it’s something for me to do.
this is the standard raft of what christians try:
“1.God provided a written account of His creative work, but the atheist believes the Bible to be a human invention.”
no evidence for this at all. There is nothing about the bible to show it is some work by an omnipotent being. This god is as ignorant as the people who invented it. Add that to the fact that christians can’t figure out what it means to agree on it, and you have nothing to support this claim.
“2. God created this material universe from nothing in six days, but the atheist believes evolutionary processes over billions of years to be the cause.”
Even other christians don’t buy this.
“3.The Bible describes many miraculous accounts in its 66 books, but the atheist believes that miracles can’t happen.”
And surprise, no evidence for them at all. Other supposed ‘holy books” also make magical claims. No evidence for them either.
“4.God raised Jesus from the dead, but the atheist believes the resurrection never occurred.”
Yep, no evidence for this either.
“5.God brought the Jewish people back to Israel after thousands of years, but the atheist believes this return to be nothing more than political coincidence.”
And funny how the clock is running out for this claim. This god did nothing, just the action of guilty feeling countries.
“I feel for the elderly atheist who committed his eternal life to the belief system of this world. But remember, it’s not by lack of evidence. Romans 1:18-20 tells us that people “suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse.””
Every cult makes this claim.
Addendum: Hey, I *thought* had had crossed swords with these christians before.
I’ve made copies of some information I’ve found on the web, either from fairly hidden webpages or on websites that are quite old and I have no idea if they are being maintained or not. They are not something I generated myself.
I’m putting them up here so I can find them when I want them, and for anyone else’s use.
I’ve found the following useful in countering various theist claims.
If you are of an age like mine, you remember Dungeons and Dragons, and the fit that some Christians took about it back in the 70s. This is of course when they were also taking a fit about rock music and other things too, including predicting the end of their world with their sadistic little fantasies.
They took it upon themselves to lie about the game, and the players and lied to their own people to scare them deeper into their cult. The Jack Chick tracts were notorious, with their claims of suicide, etc. Here’s a video about them:
Well, now D&D is back in a big budget movie and it seems that it isn’t nearly so bad now for at least some christians. The younger ones don’t remember the hysteria, it seems, and I’m guessing that the older Christians hope no one remembers how their lies failed. It’s always embarrassing when your cult’s claims are shown as the nonsense they are.
Here’s a christian review of the movie (which is out on March 31st). And the wiki entry for it, just in case you are curious.
Doug Beaumont has a Phd in Theology, though I’m not quite certain where from. HE lists “North-West University” which may be one in the US or a Christian university in south Africa.
He also is a catholic and is an apologist. He has written a blog post about Christians being atheists, which they do hate to be called, even though they are atheists. It’s like they think they can catch cooties from the word. They seem unable to grasp they can be a theist and an atheist at the same time.
“I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” —Stephen F Roberts
In discussions over the existence of God, many atheists seem to assume that anything that can be labeled “god” counts toward what informed Christians mean by the term. I’ve seen more than one atheist in a debate say that with the thousands of gods on offer from the world’s religions, atheists only disbelieve in one more of them than Christians do – and if Christians were consistent, they’d be atheists about their god too. This is a dim-witted argument on multiple counts (e.g., affirming any “X” excludes all “Non-X’s,” so this would be like an anarchist saying he just believes in one fewer government than Democrats do). However, besides reflecting poor reasoning, it also reveals ignorance as to what a Christian means (or should mean) when he speaks of “God.””
This is a common claim by Christians, that only they can define “god”, and only they have the one real god. Alas, they can’t show that to be true. Anyone can use their excuses why these other gods can’t be found either. I find that a large problem for Christians: they use the same arguments for their god as other theists and they refuse to accept those arguments *unless* they are about their particular god (which they can’t even agree on among themselves). They also use the same arguments against other gods that atheists do, but don’t see how those arguments apply to their god.
“Even if they existed, beings such as Odin, Zeus, or Thor cannot be the God of creation. At best they would be very powerful sub-creations and thus part of the natural order. The creator God is metaphysically distinct from them or any other natural thing (i.e., super-natural). Once this is understood, the absurd nature of the above claim becomes apparent. Moreover, the existence of this kind of God is not simply a matter of biblical interpretation or theological tradition – it is solidly based in philosophical principles derived from creation itself.”
Doug seems to think as long as he makes a statement, everyone has to accept it as true. Nope, this is the common Christian claim that only their god fits….the definition of god they’ve made up in their need to eliminate competition with other gods. Christians to love to try to change the meaning of words when their claims fail. All Doug has is presupposition, and the baseless assumption that creation can only happen with one god, and only a god as he describes it. With no evidence, he has nothing.
“Now, Thomas Aquinas wrote what might amount to a doctoral dissertation on this subject but we don’t have time for that here. (If you want to get it straight from him, the book is called On Being and Essence). I’ll summarize the relevant points here in a way that I hope will make sense to non-philosophers. We start with a simple and, I think, obvious principle:
A thing’s essence and existence are distinct.”
No, Aquinas didn’t write a doctoral dissertation. Those need to be supported with facts. Aquinas wrote a very long set of baseless opinions.
“The term “essence,” as it is used here, refers to what a thing is. My essence is humanness, a horse’s essence is horseness. You get the point. “Existence,” on the other hand, here refers to whether or not there is a certain thing. The important thing to grasp is that essences do not automatically exist just because we know what they are. In fact, we could not know if something existed unless we first knew what it was.”
This is the usual double talk of a Catholic philosopher. If there is no existence, there is no essence to be defined. Again, metaphysics is invoked, something that no one can show exists.
“So for example, a horse in a field is an essence with existence. A dinosaur is an essence without existence (there must be an essence or we wouldn’t know what a dinosaur is to deny that there are any). A phoenix is an essence that never had existence. Etc.”
This is more typical baseless nonsense, and we can see here how Doug is trying to define his god into existence. This is no more than the ontological argument, which requires as a presupposition, that only one god can exist. No evidence for that at all.
“Because we can have essences that do not have existence (like the character Harry Potter whose essence is human but who does not have existence), essence and existence cannot be equivalent. Moreover, since a thing’s essence and existence are distinct, then: If an essence has existence it must have received it from another.
A “bare essence” without existence does not, by definition, exist – and non-existent things can’t be the cause of anything (much less themselves). So if an essence has received existence, it must have come from some other essence that already had existence (it would have to exist in order to accomplish this feat). But now we run into a problem – because how did THAT thing get its existence?”
Here we have Doug failing for that very old reason, special pleading. A Christian can’t argue for his god without it. How did this god get its existence? Oh yes, it is somehow not part of the requirements that Doug puts on things to eliminate anyone but his favorite god.
“We still cannot say this other essence got existence from itself – and if we say it came from another, then we enter into an infinite regress of causes. There are two problems with infinite regresses. First, there cannot be an infinite series of things, because infinity is not a number (crazy paradoxes arise when we try to treat infinity like a number – see Hibert’s Hotel or Zeno’s paradoxes for example). Second, even an infinite chain of essences causing other essences would not explain the chain. It would be like trying to explain the motion of rail cars that cannot move by themselves. Adding more doesn’t help! Eventually you need to have something that can move itself – something that doesn’t just have motion, but has it essentially ( it because of what it is – i.e., a train engine). So, There cannot be an infinite series of existing-giving essences.
“In a similar fashion with the engine and rail cars, since every essence-existence combination cannot be explained by another, there must be a cause which exists because of what it is – a thing in which essence and existence are not distinct (and therefore require no cause to join them together). Therefore,
This cause would not have existence – it would be existence.”
That is another baseless claim. Doug cannot show this to be true. He admits that infinity is a hard idea to grasp and there is no reason to think he has. All he has now is the “first cause” argument. Nothing new as usual from an apologist.
“The final piece of the puzzle here involves noting that pure existence is boundless. This is no mere assertion – what limits existence is always essence. The existence of the man, horse, and sun do not overlap – they are not shared. The existence of a thing is limited to what it is – a thing’s essence limits its existence. However, a being who joins existence to essences (i.e., creates) and whose essence is existence would be unlimited….infinite….pure spirit… This infinite spirit can only be the creator God.”
This is indeed a mere assertion, though Doug really tries to convince everyone it isn’t. He can’t show his “essence” concept is required or exists at all. His nonsense is built on this one baseless claim. It is quite a house of cards. He also can’t define what “spirit” is either, which is the usual attempt at slight of hand by a theist.
“This unlimited creator is, of course, God. Thus, when God’s essence is described as various attributes – each must be understood as being without limit. This is why the theologically sophisticated list of God’s attributes traditionally are formed by prefixing the principle attribute in such a way as to highlight lack of limitation either positively (e.g., omni-, all-,) or negatively (e.g., a-, e-, im-, in-). Thus, the Christian God is not accurately described as an old man in Heaven or a towering figure throwing a hammer around. He is infinite spirit, immutable, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, etc.“
Yep, surprise, his definition ends up with his god. And he can’t show his god exists at all. Indeed, the bible, his ownly source of knowledge about this character, has it being quite a bit less than omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, etc. He has to ignore his bible to get to his god.
“The fact of the existence of a universe of things that do not exist simply because of what they are (their essence) shows that there must a cause exist whose essence is existence. Further, it shows that there can only be one of them (because unlimitedness cannot be multiplied). When we understand that this unlimited, infinite, first cause is the creator traditionally affirmed by Christianity, we see that comparing the true God to the “gods” of other religions is to commit a category mistake.”
This last paragraph makes precious little sense, and it’s because of Doug’s unsupported claim of “essence”. He also claims that “unlimitedness” can’t be more than one, which also isn’t supported, since an equal “unlimitedness” can exist in multitudes. He again has to create a supposed set of requirements that only apply to his god.
There is no “category” mistake at all, a common thing Christians try to run to. The Christian god is not the one that Doug has invented to try to make it appear “better” than all of the rest. He, and most, if not all other theists are indeed atheists. Not one of them has the only and only god, and they all are quite sure that other gods aren’t real.
The typical claims of “intelligent design” have raised their ugly head again. I caught this blog post which mentioned this youtube video
unsurprisingly, any comments disappear since they show this nonsense to be false. It’s always fun to see just how much “faith” these christians have in their claims. FYI, Collins is a professor at Messiah University, a christian college quite near me.
You can see a lovely take-down of Collins’ claims here on infidels.org, The Case for Cosmic Design. The essays for an against follow each other.