Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – and how Christians worm into US government

This isn’t surprising at all, but should be broadcast to all. There is a rather slimy Christian group called HillFaith in Washington DC. It’s run by Mark Tapscott, a former aide, editor for the Washington Examiner, part of the Daily Caller, a notorious white surpremacist website (founded by Tucker Carlson no less) and a reporter for the Epoch Times, a Chinese-based conspiracy rag.

Boy, ain’t he a great one!

Unsurprisingly, he spreads conservative lies and promises if you come to his little talk, you’ll get Chik-fil-a! Nothing like being a walking, talking stereotype.

In his latest post on his website (no comments allowed) he is shilling the amazing Christian liar Frank Turek, who is a creationist and an utterly incompetent apologist.”

“Do you have enough faith to be an atheist? Now, you may be saying to yourself “wait a minute, atheists don’t have any faith, so that’s gotta be a mis-print or some other kind of mistake.”

And it’s true, atheism is popularly understood to be the opposite of faith.

Dr. Frank Turek explains why he still doesn’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

But the reality is that the more you learn about human beings, the universe in which we live, and how it all came to be, the more difficult it becomes to remain an atheist.

Is that a skeptical look on your face?

Then plan on joining the crowd at HillFaith’s “For Hill Aides Only Monday Club” every Monday at noon starting on July 19 for the next 12 weeks at 109 2nd Street NE, right behind the Supreme Court building. That’s the Liberty & Faith town house office suite with the 10 Commandments stone in the front yard.

Each Monday will feature a 25-40 minute video of Dr. Frank Turek of cross-examined.org addressing key aspects of the Faith vs Atheism debate, followed by a spirited discussion and Q&A led by HillFaith’s Mark Tapscott. Lunch is provided from Chik-fil-A.”



Now isn’t this sweet from Mark’s website? “

Is HillFaith partisan?

No, HillFaith is rigorously non-partisan, witnessing to and seeking to serve congressional aides and employees without regard to their employers’ partisan identification or personal leanings. Jesus is neither Democrat, nor Republican, and His life-changing Grace and Salvation are available to every person.”

ROFL Poor dears I guess they figure this doesn’t apply to them. “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers” Proverbs

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – one more theocratic Christian cult in the US

From the Washington Post:

“The church is called Mercy Culture, and it is part of a growing Christian movement that is nondenominational, openly political and has become an engine of former president Donald Trump’s Republican Party. It includes some of the largest congregations in the nation, housed in the husks of old Baptist churches, former big-box stores and sprawling multimillion-dollar buildings with private security to direct traffic on Sundays. Its most successful leaders are considered apostles and prophets, including some with followings in the hundreds of thousands, publishing empires, TV shows, vast prayer networks, podcasts, spiritual academies, and branding in the form of T-shirts, bumper stickers and even flags. It is a world in which demons are real, miracles are real, and the ultimate mission is not just transforming individual lives but also turning civilization itself into their version of God’s Kingdom: one with two genders, no abortion, a free-market economy, Bible-based education, church-based social programs and laws such as the ones curtailing LGBTQ rights now moving through statehouses around the country.

This is the world of Trump’s spiritual adviser Paula White and many more lesser-known but influential religious leaders who prophesied that Trump would win the election and helped organize nationwide prayer rallies in the days before the Jan. 6 insurrection, speaking of an imminent “heavenly strike” and “a Christian populist uprising,” leading many who stormed the Capitol to believe they were taking back the country for God.”

Apologies if you’ve read WaPo articles and this is behind the pay wall for you. Let me know.

More hateful bigots aka theocrats on the rampage. This is why I stand against theist nonsense.

Not So Polite Conversation – and another set of lies from John Clayton

And yet one more lie from John Clayton.  This is the usual tactic of so many Christians, to try to scare people into believing.  This is what I hate about some Christians, that they want to cause harm in the world for their benefit. 

“It is interesting to read the responses of various groups to what we post on this site. Atheist reactions to our discussions about the futility of atheism have been especially interesting. We have occasionally made the statement that one of the problems atheists face is that they see no purpose in their existence. On the other hand, atheists have responded that their pleasures in life serve as a purpose.”

It’s even more interesting to know that John hasn’t printed a retraction from his lie from the blog post earlier, when he tried to pretend that Ulysses S. Grant wasn’t for the separation of church and state.  Alas, atheism is just no belief in god, and it is not futile or not.  It just is.   Now a worldview might be futile but atheists are all over the place on those.  

Our pleasure in life does serve a purpose, but John wants to pretend it can’t.  He needs to pretend so in order to make a job for his imaginary god. 
 

“Vladimir Putin recently made a statement published in Time magazine (July 5/July 12, 2021, page 6), “There is no happiness in life. There’s only a mirage on the horizon.” That is a quote from Leo Tolstoy, the Russian Nobel Prize winner in literature. Putin used it concerning the struggles between Russia and the United States. It is interesting that the Russian dictator living in the 21st century would draw on it. But, what did he mean by “happiness?” “

Oh noes, Puty-Pie said something!  Whatever shall we do?  😀  I do love conservative Christains who consider Vlad an expert in anything at all.  Vlady might be a nihilist; most atheists aren’t.  Who cares what Vlady might mean by happiness? 

“Happiness and pleasure are two different things. For example, sexual pleasure is not happiness. A biblical example is the rape of Tamar by Amnon in 2 Samuel 13. After he raped Tamar, the passage tells us, “Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred for her was greater than the love by which he had loved her.” Thus, sexual pleasure is not happiness, and neither does having massive amounts of money bring happiness. Unfortunately, the life stories of some of the richest men in the history of America are largely tragic and often ending in suicide.”

Happiness is “a state of well-being and contentment; joy” (MW)  and pleasure is” a state of gratification;  a source of delight or joy”.  So they are related, pleasure leads to happiness. 

Of course, John thinks rape is sexual pleasure.  He is ignorant and disgusting.  So his attempt to claim that sexual pleasure does not lead to happiness fails entirely, and shows him to be a complete asshole. 

Money can bring happiness; it just depends what you do with it.  So John fails again.  Being wealthy doesn’t cause suicide.  Being mentally ill causes suicide in most cases.  Severe physical pain can cause someone to choose suicide. 

“How does an atheist deal with tragedies and illnesses in life? If the things you think will bring happiness are put out of reach by something you cannot control, what do you do? That is when the futility of atheism becomes apparent.”

Atheists deal with tragedies and illnesses in life a lot like other humans do, but we don’t think some god caused it for some mysterious purpose and try to excuse what an asshole *it* is.  We know that death happens, accidents happen, some people are evil and cause harm, and the universe doesn’t care if we live or die.   So we rely on our own strengths and those of our friends and family.  If we can’t do something, then we can choose to do something else.   

“On the other hand, Christians find happiness in fulfillment. Contentment is another word that that describes the fulfilled Christian who sees a purpose in life and hope for the future. Feeling God’s Spirit working in you as promised in Acts 2:38 will bring contentment. That is something that atheists cannot fully understand because their belief system does not allow it. — John N. Clayton © 2021”

If this is true, then no Christian would commit suicide and they do commit suicide.  Most likely, John will blame the victim since he can’t admit that his god and religion fail.  Feeling some god obviously doesn’t bring contentment then. 

Most people see purpose and hope in the future; no John or his god needed. Most people are also fairly content, again, no John or his god needed. 

Sometimes life sucks, sometimes it doesn’t, it can depend on luck, hard work, and education.   Sometimes we have no control over things, sometimes we do. Think things through and plan. It helps.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – when Christians quote mine and fail

Matilda

Unsurprisingly, a Christian has taken it to use a quote on this forth of July to attack atheists. Alas, the whole quote shows that Ulysses S. Grant is not on his side at all.

What the nitwits at Does God Exist claim“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.”

As our society rejects God and the Bible, people desperately search out unproven and usually false claims from human leaders. In addition to destroying faith and stopping people from living as Christ would have them live, it also eats away at the very fabric of democracy. Superstition, ambition, and ignorance combine to destroy the faith that has sustained America for over 200 years.”  John N. Clayton © 2021

What Ulysses S. Grant actually said.

“I do not bring into this assemblage politics, certainly not partisan politics, but it is a fair subject for soldiers in their deliberations to consider what may be necessary to secure the prize for which they battled in a republic like ours. Where the citizen is sovereign and the official the servant, where no power is exercised except by the will of the people, it is important that the sovereign — the people — should possess intelligence.

The free school is the promoter of that intelligence which is to preserve us as a free nation. If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.

Now in this centennial year of our national existence, I believe it a good time to begin the work of strengthening the foundation of the house commenced by our patriotic forefathers one hundred years ago, at Concord and Lexington. Let us all labor to add all needful guarantees for the more perfect security of free thought, free speech, and free press, pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and of equal rights and privileges to all men, irrespective of nationality, color, or religion.

Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar of money appropriated to their support, no matter how raised, shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian (of, relating to, or characteristic of a sect (a religious denomination) ) school. Resolve that the State or Nation, or both combined, shall furnish to every child growing up in the land, the means of acquiring a good common-school education, unmixed with sectarian, pagan, or atheistic tenets. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate. With these safeguards, I believe the battles which created the Army of the Tennessee will not have been fought in vain. – Ulysses S. Grant, former US President and Union General. Annual Reunion of the Army of the Tennessee in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 29, 1875.

As often happens, Christians lie. Funny how their god says not to, even if they think they are lying *for* this god, Romans 3 and a whole bunch more bits from the bible about how one shouldn’t lie: What Does the Bible Say About Lying? (openbible.info)

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Morality? Thank Eve

Alas, I can’t take credit for this. This is from my husband. “You opponent claims God put morality into the heart of every human.  According to their own book, God didn’t teach the difference between good and evil, the forbidden fruit was required, and off limits.  Without original sin there would be no knowledge of good and evil.  If you have morality, thank Eve.”

yep, he’s quite a bit smarter than me. I have the brain that is a great retrieval and storage unit. he has the brain that is the one that shows how things work.

This god wanted an amoral people per the myth. Things were supposedly, objectively, evil, but as long as humans were ignorant, things were fine per this god. Being naked was supposedly wrong, but A&E were nekkid with no problem.

Until that tree.

The idiot god got a people who knew what good and evil were. Seems like the people outstripped the god.

Most of us know that killing kids and committing and encouraging genocide is wrong.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – SSDD

If you are looking for anything new, there’s not much here.   Just one more Christian making the same claims, and trying fear and ignorance again. I have Isaac’s panties in a bunch.   Isaac’s post to try to scare people into agreeing with him is very typical of a Christian who is desperate for external validation by others telling him he’s right.  He’s not, but let’s see how.

“In the beginning there was nothing. And then there was something.

This is the essence of what atheism teaches. This something coming from nothing is what they call “the Big Bang.” Of course, their god, Charles Darwin, has led them into sacred knowledge of how life came about. Life simply evolved from non life, of course!

Their main teachings: evolution, nothing to everything, because science says, and my all-time favorite, “the lack of evidence is evidence enough.”

Let’s begin with their idea of the beginning of the world. They say that in the beginning there was a tiny ball of matter, which miraculously just existed for no reason. Obviously no one created it. That’s silly.

This ball of matter, which existed for no reason, exploded in what we call the Big Bang, again for no reason. There’s absolutely nothing in the universe that caused that ball of matter to explode. That’s insane.

Enter the holy trinity of atheism: Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, and Steven Hawking. They push this idea that the substance that exploded from a ball of nothing evolved into something. This is how we get cats, dogs, birds, and more. Because nothing decided one day it wanted to exist.

Now that we are familiar with the religion of atheism, I am going to give you some heavy reasons why it is dangerous. But first, let me add a disclaimer. I love atheists. Yes! Even the hateful, bigoted, mocking atheists! I just find their beliefs to be… crazy. And a little ridiculous.”

Oh the ignorance. 

Atheism doesn’t teach “in the beginning there was nothing. And then there was something.”   It is a conclusion that there is no god or gods.  Now, the big bang theory says that it seems like there was nothing and then there was something, but even physicists aren’t quite sure how that occurred, other than it is possible for something to come from nothing and they have evidence for it. 

Charles Darwin is not a god and well, we’re atheists so we don’t believe in gods or consider humans gods.  Isaac must make strawmen to attack since he has nothing else.  We have evidence evolutionary theory works and it has grown more robust since Darwin proposed it as a hypothesis.  A theory, in a scientific context, is “A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world and universe that can be repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocols of observation, measurement, and evaluation of results. Where possible, theories are tested under controlled conditions in an experiment.[1][2] In circumstances not amenable to experimental testing, theories are evaluated through principles of abductive reasoning. Established scientific theories have withstood rigorous scrutiny and embody scientific knowledge”  – Wikipedia.

“This ball of matter, which existed for no reason, exploded in what we call the Big Bang, again for no reason. There’s absolutely nothing in the universe that caused that ball of matter to explode. That’s insane.

Enter the holy trinity of atheism: Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, and Steven Hawking. They push this idea that the substance that exploded from a ball of nothing evolved into something. This is how we get cats, dogs, birds, and more. Because nothing decided one day it wanted to exist.”

Isaac also demonstrates his ignorance on what the Big Bang Theory says.  It has nothing to do with a “ball of matter”.  The BBT is about a singularity which expanded, not about a ball of nothing, and not about a ball of matter, nor about any of these things being able to think.   Isaac then proceeds into the logical fallacy of an argument from personal ignorance. Creationists often find themselves attacking yet another strawman since if they attacked the actual theory, they’d have nothing. 
 
Danger #1: Morality

This is a big one. I’m not saying you can’t be moral you’re an atheist. I’m saying you have no justification for being moral.

Morality was created by God and placed in the heart of every human being. The Law of God, or the moral standard, was written on your heart. That’s how you know rape is wrong, for example.

However, you can suppress that morality and do your own thing. Theists don’t usually suppress their morality. They live by the standard set by God. If you’re an atheist, you can still be a good person by following the morals set on your heart. However, being a good person doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.”

Isaac *is* saying that atheists aren’t moral, but he doesn’t want to be shown to be saying that since his claim is obviously wrong.  What follows is a common theist claim: the argument from morality.  Unfortunately for Isaac, Christians don’t agree on what morality their god wants. One can’t point a certain moral stance and say that it was from this god or any god.  Isaac’s claim that we know what this god wants in our “hearts” is baseless.  Not even Christians can show that, including Isaac.

“If you don’t believe in God, there’s no reason not to murder and rape. It’s not objectively wrong in that case. It’s only your opinion that it’s wrong. However, since God is real, your sense of justice is justifiable and your desire to be a good person is not just an explosion of random chemicals in your brain.”

There are plenty of reasons not to murder and rape, etc.  It doesn’t have to be objectively wrong.  It is my opinion, and most people’s opinion, that it *is* wrong, and civilization supports that and enforces that idea.  No god or Isaac needed. Paraphrasing Penn Teller, I have no want to murder or rape just because I could. 

Still no evidence that Isaac’s god exists.   

“Danger #2: Beyond Life

What if you’re wrong? If I’m wrong, I end up 6 feet under, dead. I just stop existing. If you’re wrong, there’s an eternity of condemnation and judgment waiting for you. An eternity of fire and brimstone.

Not to mention, if you’re wrong you could be leading others to hell with you. Including your friends, family, kids, etc.”

This is just Pascal’s Wager and poor Isaac’s sadistic fantasies.  Pascal’s Wager fails since there is no evidence any god’s exist and there is a cost to believing in one.  Isaac does try ever so hard here to use fear to convince people he is right.  He isn’t.

It’s always fun to also see a Christian who is sure his god is dumb enough to accept someone who is believing “just in case”. 

Danger #3: Unnecessary hatred

This isn’t necessarily every atheist, but it’s enough. They spread hate. They seek to tear down theists and make us look stupid. This leads other atheists down the same path and before you know it, Christians are being hated, bullied, and harassed. This is how the persecution of the first century church began. Unnecessary hatred of Christians. This is why Nero ended up lighting his festivals with Christians, burning in cages.

Persecution still happens today. Check out the Middle East.”

Isaac has to pretend he is persecuted like so many Christians.  He also claims that some hate is unnecessary and here he is trying to claim that some people deserve hell and to die if they don’t agree with him. 

We don’t need any help making many theists look ignorant and bigoted.  They do just fine themselves.  

There is indeed real persecution of various groups in the world.  Christians in the US aren’t one of them.  And funny how this god does nothing at all to help the Christians who really are persecuted.  It’s rather like it doesn’t exist at all. 

“The Solution

The Gospel. You and I, and every human that ever existed, has sinned and broken God’s law. We are unworthy of grace. Because God is just, he must pass the appropriate sentence. And since his standard is perfection, we have been sentenced to death, which is eternal separation from God. Eternal separation from all things good.

But God is rich in mercy and quick to forgive those who fall on the mercy of Him. Because all have sinned, it is by grace that any of us go to heaven. Without grace, we’d all be damned to hell. That’s why Jesus came into the world, as a living sacrifice. And since he is the only one who has never sinned, his death and suffering paid for your transgressions. It paid for mine too. Like a judge in court, God has sentenced you. Jesus paid the penalty, or the fine. You were speeding and got a ticket, Jesus paid the ticket. Now you can go free.

“What must you do to be saved? “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.”

1. Believe in your heart that Jesus was risen from the dead.

2. Confess him as Lord over your life. Confess your sins.

3. Repent. Turn from your sin. A Christian cannot live a lifestyle of sin.

4. Receive the free gift of eternal life. The Holy Spirit will come on you, giving you faith and convicting you of sin.””

The problem for Isaac is which version of Christianity and the “gospel”.  Isaac doesn’t agree with his fellow Christians, so which version is the right “path”?   Christians don’t agree on what is a sin, so again, how does Isaac know his version is the only right one? 

Per the bible, this god is not just, or merciful or quick to forgive.  Genesis 3 shows this right off.   Could have had JC show up right then.  Didn’t. 

Isaac, like most Christians, is selling a cure to a sickness that doesn’t exist.  No “sin”, no “salvation” needed.  Isaac also doesn’t realize that one can’t just decide to believe in something with no evidence.   

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Yah didn’t think Ray Comfort could get any worse, did you?

So here we have Ray Comfort with his new writing “ugly baby blindness syndrome.” (gee it is part of a book) He’s sure those newborns and toddlers are evil. You don’t have to go out to “living waters” if you want so see ol’ Ray in his idiocy. I made a nice set of screen shots since I wouldn’t be surprised if this suddenly disappears. Shows you that any “pro-life” claims are false.

These people will stop at nothing to convince people they are sick so they can shill their “cure.

https://clubschadenfreude.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/ugly-baby-blindness-syndrome.pdf

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Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Christians sure like to pretend they are talking to atheists

or saying that the nonsense in Revelation will be happening “real soon now”

As above, Christians sure like to pretend they are talking to atheists lately, and of course, don’t allow comments on these ever so wonderful arguments they think they have. Wonder why? 😀

So, here we have Nick Watt, with his talk to an atheist.

And here is my response. Yeah, I’m bored so lots of posts.

So, here I am, an atheist.   Let’ me respond to your claims.

It’s always nice to see a Christian trying to poison the well right off.  I am interested in hearing your opinion, but I will not let baseless and false claims stand without addressing them.  If you consider that “arguing” then yep, you have nothing and only want a submissive audience.

I am need respectful of science and have reason to trust it.  I see no evidence of you respecting science.  You use the same failed arguments as those who are ignorant of it.   We can observe love, hate, jealousy etc and that is part of the scientific method.  We can also look at brain scans when people are experiencing such emotions and see the brain light up as we would expect.  Little can be technically proven except for mathematics, but we certainly can have lots of evidence to support our conclusions. 

Christians do love to pay word games since they have no evidence for their god.  They can’t prove it exists at all.  Since we know a good bit about how the brain works, nope, there is no reason to agree with the false claim that “there are elements of life and existence beyond the purview of science”.  There is no evidence of the supernatural, which is what you are desperate to show exists. 

Like so many Christians, you want to claim that if someone doesn’t agree with you, they are “dishonest”.  Unfortunately, you can’t show this at all.  Only science can discover truth so far, and religion and philosophy are baseless opinions.  And nope, the burden of showing your claims to be true is still on you.  You make the absurd claim, you get to show it is true.  I’m sure you feel the same about the claims of other theists you disagree with. 

People should indeed follow the evidence where it leads.  Theists do not since they have the presupposition that some god simply must exist.  Again, you still hve the burden of proof for your baseless claims.  I do not since doubt is the neutral stance.   And you have no evidence for them.

You claim that the universe is not pitilessly indifferent.   Show it.

The universe did seem to begin.  No evidence for any magical being starting it and most, if not all, religions make the same claim as you do.  Show your god is the creator. 

We also have no evidence for “fine-tuning”, since we  have no idea how far the parameters can vary to get the same thing.  All you have is being a puddle thinking how great it is that “something” made a hole in the ground “just right for it”.   We fit the universe, the universe does not fit us.  Your argument from personal ignorance is just more logical fallacy, that sine you don’t understand basic science, then your myth must be true. 

Reality shows no evidence for any god, much less your personal version of the Christian god.  The beginning of the book of Genesis makes vague claims that each Christain claims means something different.  Then we have two contradictory creation stories, and a god that fails to keep out satan or intentionally lets satan in, not warning its ignorant children.  And no evidence of this either “15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in[i] him all things hold together.” 

Lots of theists claim that they think their personal beliefs make better sense of reality.  They are yet to show this to be the case. 

Christians also love to claim that we’ll have to die to be sure.  That’s not what your bible says.  I should be able to see every baptized believer in Christ as personal savior being able to do what their bible claims in Mark 16, John 14 and James 5.  Not a single one of you can.

You may be “captive to the word of God”, but again, every theist claims this, claims that cosmology, teology, etc agree with them, and personal belief doesn’t show that any gods exist.  There is no evidence at all that you’ve tried to “undo” the evidence for your god’s existence at all.  I’ve undone it with no problem at all.   

Then you offer Pascal’s Wager.  This assumes you have the right version of some god, and assumes you lose nothing.  If wrong, you lose time and resources and could risk pissing off the right god.  Christians don’t think very hard about their supposed great argument.

You do offer the wager to scare people and, like most religions, Chrsitianity depends on fear and ignorance.  Your sadistic fantasies about eternal torture for anyone who disagrees with you are childish. 

I also don’t have faith as you do, though Christians are desperate to pretend I do.  I can show quite easily your version of your god doesn’t exist.  None of the events it has supposedly caused can be shown to have happened.  Your god has quite a few details, and that being is no where to be found.  Chrsitians have an entire industry of apologetics to excuse their impotent god.

This is why Christians often try the “make my god vaguer” route to try to get away from the ignorant and primitive god of the bible.  It becomes a “ground of being” in Tillich’s apologetics. 

You then try an appeal to authority to try to pretend that if someone is smart and believes in your god, then there must be a god.  Hmmm, so since there are smart people who are Muslims, Zoroastrians, Hindus, then all of those gods must exist too, per your own argument.

Lee Strobel’s argument is the typical false claims of a theist and his personal ignorance is no reason to believe him.  We have evidence that indeed something can come from nothing, and again, no evidence a god is needed.  We are continuing to research how abiogenesis works and again, evidence it can and still no evidence for some god.  The universe is not random, and the laws of physics work quite nicely in ordering it with no god.  Chaos doesn’t provide information but a system that has energy in it does.  The rest, consciousness, etc are just more god of the gaps arguments, “we don’t’ understand it yet so GodDidIt.” 

I know quite a bit about Elvis.  He didn’t appear after he was dead either. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation: Theists “teaching” atheism

How I Teach Atheism to Seminarians – Public Orthodoxy

First, no surprise at all that a Christian professor does not allow comments on such a silly post.  Amazing how theists think that they can teach atheism to their students and not once actually interact with a single live atheist. 

I would dearly love to sit in on such a course, although I’m sure I’d be buried by the strawmen. 

Unsurprisingly, Justin doesn’t  mention atheists and their arguments “It will not dignify the dogmatic scientism of a Richard Dawkins or Neil DeGrasse Tyson, pretenders both to atheism’s tiara.”

There’s a tiara?  Aw, no one told me that I should be getting a tiara.  Shucks. 

So, per Justin, there is no discussion about atheist nor are there apologetics offered.  So what’s left? 

More than most versions of Christianity, Orthodoxy loves their magic sounding words.  Bafffling with bullshit is strong with them.  “Apophthegmata” only means a collection of clever sounding sayings aka aphorisms, maxims, proverbs.  It does not mean that said pithy sayings are true.  They are not limited to Christianity.  There are quite a list of Apollonian/Delphic ones and funny how they are awful close to the various proverbs and commandments that Judaism has.  Ah, humans, always having similar things since they make civilization work better.  No god needed. 

It appears that they start with a saying from some saint “Keep thy mind in hell and despair not.” Having no idea what it means, it is little more than a written Rorschach test.  Justin makes up his version, that thinking about a place of eternal torture for those who disagree with a god is a way of not being despairing”.   The problem is despairing of what?  That this religion is incoherent and is only made up by humans in their own image? 

Justin is right that the bible repeatedly says that everyone else but the believers are wrong.  No evidence of this, but lots of baseless claims of eternal torture, death, punishment for believing in the “wrong” thing.  Alas, no one can show what the right way is, and we have hundreds, if not thousands of different TrueChrisitanities™.  Every theist is sure that the others who don’t agree with him deserve punishment, just like a toddler thinks that anyone who doesn’t do what he wants deserves punishment. 

Then Justin goes into this thing about idolatry, which is not atheism and which seems to be quibbling about which is the right version of Christianity.  It also includes the common attempt by various Christians to insist to other Christians that their pictures and statues aren’t “idols” but “icons” or whatever other term they want to make for art that they often claim does miracles. 

It is very amusing that Justin thinks that he can borrow weapons from atheists to attack other Christianities.  He forgets he turns those weapons on himself since most, if not all religions, use the same arguments. 

Now, I do wonder why he calls various philosophers, mostly agnostic to atheist, the school of small things (école du soupçon; soupçon: a little bit, a trace).  He thinks that they are the “fiercest minds”, which usually means, they are the ones that Justin thinks he has a chance again, but must inflate how fierce they are to make himself seem important. 

Then we have a torrent of big words for no reason:  Praxis: action.  Sacralize:  make sacred.  So we have him only saying “Who would deny that Christian action glorifies poverty and makes it sacred?”  Funny how Jesus did exactly that, but a wealthy church is upset when they are called on their wealth.  “Who would deny that often enough theologians limit the meaning of the unusual idea of revelation: something that is revealed by God to humans?”  Justin, theologians can’t agree on much of anything, including their need limit nonsense in a desperate attempt to make sense out of nonsense.

and well, what the hell this mean is anyone’s guess “That the inversion of value on Golgotha does not sometimes hypocritically vest power in a cassock?”

There is a claim of “Judeo-Christian motives” in atheism.  Christians do have the need to imagine themselves the origin of everything.  Alas, humans cared for each other long before some ignorant agrarians on the eastern Med invented a story that they and only they came up with it.  I had no idea who Feuerbach was but he has quite a bit more to say than the silliness of the “scandal” of the incarnation, something invented by Christians to try to make their religion seem unique.  I rather like this quote from him: ““Christianity set itself the goal of fulfilling man’s unattainable desires, but for that very reason ignored his attainable desires. By promising man eternal life, it deprived him of temporal life, by teaching him to trust in God’s help it took away his trust in his own powers; by giving him faith in a better life in heaven, it destroyed his faith in a better life on earth and his striving to attain such a life. Christianity gave man what his imagination desires, but for that very reason failed to give him what he really and truly desires.”” 

It’s pretty funny to see a theist insist that Nietzsche “really is” affirming “deranged affirmation of the way and the truth and the life”  Where is that in his works?  Well, Justin can’t quote a thing that supports his claims.  As for Freud fulfilling a prophecy?  Well, again, no.  Christians love to claim that their “prophecies” are being fulfilled when said “prophecies” were things happening back when the nonsense was first voiced/written.  One other example of this is the Christian desperation to cling to the “prophecy” of people mocking their nonsense. That was happening 2000+ years ago too.  The claim of “but but you are speaking against our imaginary character so that makes him real” always fails. 

And David Bentley Hart is just another Orthodox philosopher e.g. someone with baseless opinions that he wants to pretend are universal truths.    

Again, Justin tries to claim that someone, Dostoevsky was the “greatest” in his claims, but only to try to make his supposed “victory” over him sound better.  We have no examples at all of these supposedly great “renderings” at all from Justin.  We only have Justin insisting how wonderful he is for showing this fellow wrong.  This is indeed appropriate for Justin to quote this ““God will forgive your unbelief, for you venerate the Holy Spirit without knowing him.”  Since again, Justin tries to claim that everything is in debt to his religion, when it isn’t.  Justin just needs to pretend that everyone “really” agrees with him. 

Unsurprisingly, Justin does not teach atheism to anyone.  He teaches a strawman that Justin invented.  He teaches the false nonsense that everyone really agrees with Justin.  We do not.   

In a classic final attempt to protect himself, Justin tries to claim that “spiritually immature or intellectually unserious” are unfit to take his course.  Aka, if you expect to ask question and not agree with him, don’t apply because he’ll just make excuses on your supposed faults, not his. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a discussion with a Catholic

I’ve recently been crossing swords with a Roman Catholic, Christina Chase. She has a blog and I commented on a poem she wrote. Then we ended up chatting in the comments. This gave me a chance to become more familiar with Roman Catholicism and Roman Catholics. This is evidently the last of the discussion (her prior response). Ms. Chase is under a deadline for her next book.

It took some research that I wanted to keep, so I’ve plopped it up here. As usual, much of this is a repeat of tearing apart of the usual apologetics.

And thus it commences:

So, Christina, what did happen if you weren’t just one more Christian who went back to her religion when she realized she was mortal?  It seems that you left your religion, perhaps because of your illness, realized that it wasn’t any different and decided that you needed an afterlife since one wasn’t that great.

And nice attempts to claim you are trying to be “fair” to me when you also try to claim that I’ve lied e.g. “made crooked”.  It is no surprise at all that you will pick and choose what to reply to.  That is typical for Christians when hard questions are answered and is your right.  If subjects are addressed in your books, then you should be able to tell me where. 

You did claim that atheists only make emotional choices.  Shall I quote you?  “I do sense that you may have experienced some real pain or grief, and if that is so, you have my sympathy. Pain and grief can easily make us angry. I’m sure that you must be aware that you are coming across as a stereotypical angry and embittered atheist, but you may not understand that this is not productive to your cause. I won’t treat you like a stereotype, however. You are a unique, individual, unrepeatable human being.” 

Indeed, Christina, you repeatedly make false statements about atheists “ I enjoyed being an atheist because it was so simple, and because, with no meaning to life, I could simply do as I please.”

“Then, something unexpected happened that caused me, as a lover of truth, to no longer be an atheist. “

Unsurprisingly, you do again try to claim that I’m just another “angry and embittered atheist”.  Funny how that is repeated even when you claim that you are sure I’m not.   Why is this?  For me, it seems to be this is all you have to try to imply that atheists never can have any other reason.  And yep, atheists do have to often tell theists tht they didn’t become an atheist out of anger because people like you keep trying to spread that lie.  You are one of the atheists who finds she must make that assumption. 

Do explain how a being that harms others as your god is described do to in the bible is not a “vicious bastard”?   Does genocide qualify? Does drowning animals to get revenge on humans qualify?  I use words to have impact not because of my feelings.  I knew that you would find the term vicious bastard applied to your god to be questionable.  I did it to ask you these further questions.  What would you call someone who committed genocide, killed children for what their parents did, allowed a family to be killed so he could show off to an enemy?   Since none of this happened, I cannot be emotional about it.  But I can certainly look at it as an empathic human, much the same as I can empathize with characters in things like Star Wars where genocide happen. 

I have corrected you.  Did you listen?   Well, you repeated the same nonsense about atheists. 

Let’s look at your words about love “You and I know that you can’t scientifically prove the nonexistence of a personal God. You may believe that the burden of proof falls on me, but do you use a method of doubt in every aspect of your life? I don’t think so, because if you did, you would not have written that you can see love through the actions of human beings. Humans can lie, humans can even lie with their actions. I’m sure you don’t have loved ones in your life get a brain scan to make sure that the right parts of their brain are lighting up to give evidence of what we call affection before you believe that they love you. Maybe you do want to do that, I don’t know. Like it or not, sane, intelligent, normal human beings go by faith quite often in our daily lives — not blind faith. Faith based in reason.” 

So we have you claiming that people who love me can lie to me, and that I somehow have to have faith that they don’t to believe them.  I do not, since I can see that they love me. It is not faith, it is evidence.   I never said cannot, Christina as you claimed “I believe what I see,” you continued. “and one can not see love easily.” “   Go back and read it again “Humans can lie. Per the bible, so can your god. And nice to see you try to claim that people are lying to me if they say they love me. It’s not faith, it’s trust. I believe what I see. And one can see love easily. If you can’t tell if someone loves you, that is your problem, not mine. Your belief aka faith in a magical god is not based on reason. It is based on hope and desire for something better than you have now.”

Did you intend on misrepresenting what I said?  I hope not. 

You have said this directly “As I told you, I was briefly an atheist. I was a thorough, true atheist for less than a year. Then, something unexpected happened that caused me, as a lover of truth, to no longer be an atheist. “  The “as a lover of truth” doesn’t need to be in there.  Why is it?  No, my love of truth didn’t lead me to atheism.  Evidence did.  I followed the evidence; I didn’t have a presupposition of some “truth” to fit the evidence to.   The claim of a “lover of truth” implies baselessly that others aren’t concerned with the truth aka if this happened to you and you didn’t accept it, then you aren’t a “Lover of truth”. 

Many theists of all faiths claim what you do, feelings of some “infinite”.  Now, do you believe them if they do not agree with the source?  Why or why not?  I do have to wonder that this feeling does seem to be assigned to your god, since that is what is familiar with you.  What shows that this feeling is from the version of the Chrsitian god you grew up with rather than some other god? 

Feelings of awe seem to happen to most people.  Why think it is from some entity?  Humans can make feelings appear with just electrical current.  No god needed.  And now you try to claim this “do not expect you to understand this or to even want to understand this in your current state.”

What is my “current state”, Christina?   Your assumption of anger and bitterness? 

I did not contradict myself, Christina.  I do not do what I want, because I do not believe in free will, and I know that somethings I want aren’t the best for me or society.  I don’t think you know what I mean at all.  Penn Jillette contradicts you, and the Christian nonsense that non-chrisitans just don’t want to obey their god, that we are ravening thoughtless creatures.

“So to continue, you also wrote: “We are just as compassionate, law-abiding and caring as any theist.”That’s a good point and I do not disagree. “

Do you agree with me on this?  You said this “I enjoyed being an atheist because it was so simple, and because, with no meaning to life, I could simply do as I please.”   You seem to think again that only you have real love, Christina “ I did what pleased me (thankfully, it pleases me to be generally good) without thinking about any kind of eternal me or what it actually means to love divinely.”

If you think I need the benefit of the doubt, then I have to again wonder about your assumptions about atheists. 

Atheists aren’t nihilists, Christina.  Many Christians feel that they need to claim that to vilify us.  Humans do give meaning to life.  Our worldviews that we’ve created do.   No gods needed.  Yes, I do mean that me, as an atheist who has meaning, shows that your claim that meaning only comes from your god is wrong.  You have yet to show that there is “divine love” or that your god supplies it.  You seem to be only inventing that term to feel special and superior.   Yes, I do think that it does take arrogance and a neediness to declare that I need you or your god to love and be loved.  You are doing it right where you claim “God is needed to know the depths of divine love” 

I am here to demonstrate that Christians aren’t above reproach, and that they make harmful and false claims and to confront them about those claims.  Society has mistakenly assumed that gods are true and that if someone claims worship something, that makes them better than anyone else.  Religions have encouraged this by making baseless claims on how they are the source of all love, truth, goodness, etc.  I aim to kick the legs out from under those false claims.  Will I be successful?  Well, religion is losing ground because people can speak out now, and not be completely terrified that some theist will try to kill them, lock them up, etc for being “heretics”. 

I have shown that the claims of Christians about having some objective truth are false.  I believe that you need to hope that some magical afterlife exists.  You are rather like Joni Eareckson Tada whom I read about when I was young.  I can very much understand that you must hope that there is a reason for you being disabled.  I think you would be better off dealing with reality than a forlorn hope.  However, I can understand that it is a harsh reality and a hope is very appealing. 

No, no help or harassment needed.  Only an example to push against. 

If we are limited, then what makes you think you have the right answer when claiming a god exists?

I think Rumi is a very interesting poet. I’m also interested mysticism but alas have yet to see evidence that any of the claims of theistic humans are true.  It’s all humans trying to convince others that their opinions are supported by some powerful being. 

There is no evidence of your god or that it is outside of space/time so we don’t need to consider human confusion evidence or not.  We just have to see that as soon as humans can’t show evidence, then their gods immediately become mysterious and vague.  Just how does an entity be outside of space/time, know when to start something, Christina?  Christians just try to say “we don’t understand but my god has to exist”.  A non-christian has to point out “no your god doesn’t have to exist and why shouldn’t we understand?”

Saying you are a member of the Catholic Church doesn’t mean much anymore since schism is there too.  Every Christian wants to claim that they are the “catholic” followers of Christ.  None can show this to be true. 

“We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: “He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”612 Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren.613 To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”

1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.614 Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,”615 and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!”616”

Seems like your sect is indeed saying what you say it is not “Contrary to the common belief that you expressed as nonsense, the Catholic Church does not teach that everybody who isn’t Catholic is absolutely going to Hell. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 846-856.)”  For most of its existence, the RCC claimed “extra ecclesiam nulla salus” Then Vatican II came along and evidently God was mumbling at some point, since it was declared “though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.”” 

Then we have Roman Catholics saying this “Can only Catholics go to heaven? – The Leaven Catholic Newspaper”  “I think we would still say there is no salvation outside the church,” he continued, “but what we mean by that is that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, as he said.“He’s it. So, if there’s salvation, it’s in him.“If I am saved, I am saved by Jesus Christ and no one else.” 

The problem here, as I’ve mentioned before, is that Christians do not agree on how JC is “the way, the truth and the life”.  Each of you has your belief that your version is the only way to correctly follow Christ and you define “grave sin”.  “But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves”.  Christians do show that they hate each other when they say that they deserve eternal torture.     

The Lumen Gentium also says “Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.”   This is also interesting “THE HOLY SPIRIT’S PRESENCE AMONG OTHER CHRISTIANS Eleuterio F. Fortino” on the vatican’s website. 

Your claim that you haven’t made a study of miracles seems very strange for someone who said she prayed for her god to heal her miraculously.  To not want to know why it fails seems unusual.  Why does one need to be a specialist in miracles to discuss them?   You seem to be trying to take refuge in the “sophisticated theology” idea, that there has to be some truth in baseless claims, if one just studied it “enough”

I find it quite specious when you say you don’t know if you’d be happier in a whole body.  It’s rather like someone saying “I don’t know if I’d be happier if I won a million dollars”, when that person has no chance of willing a million dollars.  It’s a fox and the grapes argument. 

Your life is easy thanks to human ingenuity.  And one can know about patience and empathy without suffering constant UTIs, etc.  I used to work for an an agency that regulated nursing homes and have read many case histories on people who are afflicted as you are.  

Yes, Christina, with no exceptions.   As I have already stated, it does have be for believers and surprise, that doesn’t happen either.   And there is not one place where JC says these prayers have to be per this god’s will aka plan aka reason to know that there is no free will in your bible. 

This is one of the big reasons I do take the time to show how ignorant Christianity is.  You must always blame the victim for this god’s failure.  Someone doesn’t have the “right” faith, prayer, sect, etc and this god won’t heal them.   Consider this, if I was omnipotent, and omniscient, I would heal them.  I’d heal you.  I wouldn’t need misery or pain to teach people.

Yep, there is indeed that story where JC, like any charlatan, cannot do miracles because people don’t believe enough.  I’ve had plenty of Christians claim that their god needs powered up and I’ve also had plenty of wannabee mystics claim that they can’t do their  magic with unbelievers around.   They ran away too, just like JC. 

So much for omnipotence.   And do read your bible, Christina:

Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.” Mark 6

and the same story in “57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” 58 And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.”

still doing miracles in both.

I’m finding it amusing that you now only seem to have complaints about how I cite verses.  I’ve read the chapters too and yep, they are still about healing physical problems.  Yep, the chapters mention other things, but not in the context of what is being claimed about physical healing and answering every prayer with what is prayed for.  Those verses in John 14 are still about healing and any prayer being answered: “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me[e] for anything, I will do it.” John 14. 

No one has said you must respond to me or respond quickly.  You are responsible for what  you do.