Let’s Enslave The Heathen

pic_giant_020915_sm_slave-chains_0

Slavery was not always wrong.

In the Old Testament, for example, slavery was peachy.

So was polygamy (which is similar to slavery in some aspects)…but I digress.

God said slavery wasn’t a sin.

God’s opinion matters most by virtue of the fact that…He’s God.

Between the Old Testament and the abolition of slavery in the United States…there was Jesus.

Jesus was God.

So His opinion matters most by virtue of the fact that…He’s God.

Jesus said you should treat other people the way you want to be treated.

So we made slavery illegal in the United States.

It didn’t jive with the idea that people are ‘endowed by their creator’ with the right to freedom.

God-deniers suggest that slavery was outlawed because ‘morality evolved’.

Not because God said oppressing people is a sin.

So if we ever make slavery legal again…

…we should enslave all the atheists.

This is perfectly logical.

The Golden Rule has weight because God said it’s true.

Atheists do not believe God exists.

If God does not exist, neither does sin.

Which means there’s nothing wrong with slavery.

There’s also nothing wrong with murder…

…but why kill atheists when we can make them slaves?

The atheists will whine about being mistreated.

So we should offer them a chance to convert.

Theist: “Give me a reason to release you, Slave!”

Atheist: “I don’t want to be a slave!”

Theist: “Why should I care what you want?”

Atheist: “Because…um…Evolution?”

Theist: “Ha ha ha ha! Massage my feet!”

But…

The instant he confesses faith in Jesus…

…the slave goes free.

I’m not suggesting we should make slavery legal.

I’m not suggesting we should mistreat atheists.

I’m suggesting that the atheists are receiving the benefits of this culture while denying the God that shaped it.

So in every way that matters…

…the godless are already slaves.

—— Update ——-

John Zande (who will be massaging my feet when slavery is re-enacted) posted this gem in the comment section:

“True, the word “sin” would be meaningless. It’s just a word, after all, contained in a narrative from which it gains its meaning. It’s circular. Without that narrative, there would, of course, still exist bad and imoral and unethical behaviour; behaviour that increases suffering and is, therefore, wrong.”

Kindergarten philosophers can immediately see the problem with this statement.

For the pre-schoolers who are taking a break from coloring…

…without ‘sin’ it is impossible to behave immorally or unethically.

Zande’s statement can be rewritten more simply:

“There is no such thing as wrong but increasing suffering is wrong.”

You can read more brilliant, atheist philosophy in the comment section.

OR…you can hit yourself in the head with a hammer.

If you’re an atheist, both activities are equally ‘right’.


501 thoughts on “Let’s Enslave The Heathen

  1. So, you’re saying your particular Middle Eastern god, Yhwh, changed its mind?

    That contradicts this Middle Eastern god’s own words:

    “The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).

    “Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. Unlike them, He never changes or casts shifting shadows” (James 1:17).

    “The Lord’s plans stand firm forever; His intentions can never be shaken.” (Psalm 33:11)

    “I, the LORD, do not change” (Malachi 3:6)

    If God does not exist, neither does sin.

    True, the word “sin” would be meaningless. It’s just a word, after all, contained in a narrative from which it gains its meaning. It’s circular. Without that narrative, there would, of course, still exist bad and imoral and unethical behaviour; behaviour that increases suffering and is, therefore, wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Wanted to make sure this appears a little closer to the top of the thread.
        I’ve used your comment as an update to the post. Of course, I credited you!
        I sincerely appreciate your continued effort to demonstrate the solvency of my arguments.
        If I didn’t know better, I’d think your were TRYING to help!

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    1. John,

      It is obvious that anyone, even a dog or cat can change its mind about something without altering its basic nature.

      You can change your mind about something without losing your integrity.

      Now, apply that simple, obvious, easily understood incite to God.

      Yes, God can change his mind about something without losing his integrity.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My children have been told not to say “shut up.”
        Also, their bedtime is 8:30.

        Eventually, though, I expect those laws will change… It’s almost as if one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to rules.

        (Gee, I hope God knows that!)

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      2. OK, thanks for that. So, the bible is wrong, and the Middle Eastern god, Yhwh, did in fact change its mind. Does, in fact, change its mind. Therefore, there is no objective moral standard. We just have to guess as to what it’s thinking on any given day, minute, second.

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      3. Well, that depends on your basic nature. See, me: I like to think my basic nature is to hold propositions to be true if a reasoned defence based in reality can be made of them, preferably including evidence. I can change my mind without affecting that basic nature, because the nature of evidence presented to me changes, and I am ignorant and imperfect; I am learning.

        Are you arguing that God’s basic nature is one of learning? That there are things God didn’t know? That God was wrong once upon a time?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Allallt,

        Let me dumb it down so that even you may have at least a 50/50 chance of understanding.

        Your basic nature is that of a human being.

        God’s basic nature is Creator.

        You don’t become non-human if you change your mind about something.

        Similarly God is still Creator if he changes his mind about something.

        Get it?

        Even a 5 year old can understand something so simple.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I would have been disappointed if JZ hadn’t taken this opportunity to talk about his favorite thing in the world: the Bible verses about slavery. 🙂

    Meanwhile, I’m interested in what Christians think about the idea of God “changing his mind?” Is it possible that, since eternity, forever and ever and ever an ever, God has been the type of Being who will “change his mind” about various laws, in order to arrive at his ultimate goal?

    I could say more, but what do you think?

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    1. Careful, your worldview relies entirely on some objective measure, remember. if your god can change its mind, then you have to admit there is no objective measure, and all you have left in your hand is arbitary.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the caution, JZ. But–if you recall–I’ve already discussed the slavery question on my own blog.

        https://culturesatwar.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/the-slavery-post/

        Slavery isn’t wrong–just like Socialism and Communism aren’t wrong. And parenthood isn’t wrong. But, whenever you get humans involved, they will make a mess of the social system, no matter what it is. They somehow will use it to abuse each other EVERY TIME.

        Don’t you wish YOU had a standard that made words like “abuse” meaningful?

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      2. John,

        You can change your mind about something without changing your sense of justice.

        Since God is three persons, and human beings were created in God’s image, that is, we too, are persons, we can change from hamburgers to hotdogs without losing our personhood or sense of morality.

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  3. I hate to be everywhere at once, but is anyone going to deal with JZ’s point?
    Did God change his mind?
    As God once said slavery was fine, was it actually fine? Has the moral standard moved? Has the unchanging God changed? What is your theological position here?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t engage with atheists about the nature of God.
      You don’t believe God exists. Discussing His nature is like arguing the design of Santa’s sleigh.

      The question in front of JZ is:
      If there is no such thing as sin, how can there be immoral and unethical behavior?
      You’re welcome to take a crack at answering that.
      (Word of caution. Don’t just say ‘Evolution’.) 🙂

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      1. I know you find this insulting, but you are clearly just playing a game here. He asked you first — and you’ve decided the rules allow you to ignore the question, but demand an answer from others. Like I said over in the other comments thread, this isn’t a discussion. This is people accidentally inviting themselves over to play your preachy little game.

        And the sad thing is you really do a disservice to the intellectual honesty of people who identify with your version of your religion.

        This isn’t comedy, despite the title of your blog. But it isn’t reasonable conversation, either.

        If you want to know my position on morality, come to my blog and read it! There’s a search function on the right hand side of every post. Subscribe, even: the next two posts are on morality. (They are scheduled to come out on consecutive Wednesdays. I’ve scheduled a discussion about our conversation, too. After all, it would be a shame to have screamed my reasonable comments into the wasteful void that you offer. But that’s all backed up until June 7th.)

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      2. I’ve answered JZ’s question multiple times. He is the one playing games.

        JZ thinks the Bible is mythology. How am I supposed to defend mythology?

        I’m gonna take a wild guess at the content of your morality posts.
        “Morality exists because evolution.”

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      3. We’ve been over this: I’m not replying to your questions because I invest energy into my replies. They are thought through; I think about them. Sometimes, they even involve extra research. I make sure they are reasonable, comport to reality and aren’t esoteric. You don’t engage with them.

        As my position on morality is quite complex, I’m not wasting effort explaining it to someone who is refusing to spend 30 seconds finding my view elsewhere. The answer to the exact question you are asking is available on my blog. I’m not repeating it for someone who has demonstrated, at best, an unwillingness to follow a conversation or, at worst, an inability.

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      4. Actually, I notice details like that regularly. It’s my job.
        I’ll read your morality posts when they arrive.
        (Probably better do some rewriting to get rid of the evolution references.)

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      5. Fair enough, I do make an important clarification in the first one, by arguing against some of the detail of Sam Harris’ Moral Landscape.

        Reminder of the day: I’m not Jewish, so you can enslave me forever. That’s your rules, not mine! (And Jesus implored slaves to serve God as they serve their Christian masters… so I’d think a little deeper about what Jesus really said.)

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    2. It’s vital to answer this as punishment (eternal punishment, no less) is at stake. For justice to be meaningful (for it to be good) it has to be consistent. If we cannot rely on this consistency then we do not have “justice,” rather some haphazard, arbitrary dispensing of punishment according to the erratic emotional states of the judge and executioner.

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  4. JZ, I don’t see where where JB said that God changed his mind. He said that A.D. WE abolished slavery. The NT actually still includes slavery proving that God did not change his mind.

    JB, I love your logic, but I think it may be more accurate to say that God DIDN’T say that slavery is a sin. Of all the bad and immoral and unethical behavior that produces suffering which we have invented throughout history, slavery itself is not one that He called out as a sin, but rather how we relate with our slaves or our masters.

    I’m not infavor of reinstating slavery either, but if we were to, I agree that atheists, evolutionists and humanists would make great candidates as slaves based on their own beliefs. Does the Caste system not demonstrate this for us to some degree?

    Also, JB, let’s remember what you’ve stated that name calling says about us – that we have no reasoned defense. You HAVE a reasoned defense and rep Christ. Just a reminder because I love you and I know you desire to do better.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. John,

        The two greatest events of the Bible were God freeing the Hebrews from slavery to Pharaoh and Jesus freeing all of mankind from the slavery to sin.

        Then and Now: slavery bad.

        Your atheist hallucinations about the Bible not withstanding.

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    1. Well, who you think are the great candidates for enslaving is irrelevant. Unfortunately for you, God actually tells you who you can enslave, and by what rules. And the rules are:
      (1) You can enslave anyone, for at least 7 years.
      (2) You can enslave non-Jews forever.
      (3) Slaves can be inherited.
      (4) You can beat them, so long as it doesn’t kill them.

      Do you really believe in a God so pathetic it can’t just utter ‘Do not own people’? A God so narcissistic that it found room for 4 commandments about Itself, but not one about slavery?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Allallt,

        To those of us who have actually studied and come to understand human history it is obvious that slavery was a social institution that was so ingrained throughout humanity that it seemed natural.

        What you cited from the Bible are examples of God beginning to regulate slavery out of existence.

        And in fact, slavery eventually disappeared from Israel and the Greco-Roman world as Christianity slowly became coin of the realm.

        You hallucinate a falsehood (in this case, God condoned slavery), assign it to the Bible, and then demand that Christians explain the falsehood.

        Calling stupid, stupid, isn’t name calling. It is a statement of fact.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I never accuse you of name calling.

        So, your omnipotent God is too pathetic to just decree ‘Thou shalt not own people’, instead cryptically sewing a seed of abolitionism that only the people who desperately want to see it can decipher, but perfectly happy to hard line it perfectly clearly on homosexuality and adulterers? He finds the time to make 4 commandments about Himself, but not 1 about condoning slavery?

        See, those of us that have studied human history know that homosexuality was also a social norm and seemed natural. No passive ‘err… maybe don’t do it so hard’ half-arsed decree from God about that natural-seeming social norm.

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      3. @allallt

        Consider if you will, the fact that God’s understanding is infinite. (Psalm 147) Consider, that when He speaks, He does so with perfect knowledge in time, that which you do not have. He knows the results of mistakes made today, and how they will affect or impact a thousand years later.

        You do not have this information, so for you to malign Him, His character, His nature. is uh, kind of stupid. It is rather amusing for people to chastise the Creator, when they do not even give Him the courtesy of existing. I say with the utmost confidence, that the word of God is a closed book to anybody who thrashes or trashes God. It is a built in genius by He who inspired the contents.

        ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ Space. Time. Matter. All revealed in the very first word of scripture. Long before the Bunsen burner was born. Long before lying so called scientists ever took their first breath. Long before the heathen challenged their Maker.

        God has no need to mature. He is perfectly consistently with truth, mercy, as He despises unbridled sin, and yes, Sodom was a city. However, there is this little word called ‘grace’ a revelation given through Christ, and foreign to EVERY religion of the world.

        But without recognizing God is, these words will fall on deaf ears.

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      4. I think you may be replying to the wrong comment.
        My question was about whether God’s nature has changed, given John’s claim (and SoM’s) that Its moral position on slavery has changed.

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      5. Well, that depends. You deny that God can learn or change, because It is already perfect. That undermines SoM’s point, which is fun, but not really useful.

        Other than that, you deny the validity of me challenging SoM or John on their conceptions of a God, because you think that means challenging God Itself, and atheists shouldn’t be allowed to do that.
        It’s kind of the smug way of telling me to shut up. Useless, really; because you’ve said it before and I didn’t shut up then, either.

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      6. It’s too difficult to carry conversations across multiple commenters and thoughts, but there is no disagreement with believers knowing that God is mistake free.

        He is immutable and perfect, and He is not an ‘it’ btw.

        And you can challenge God all you want, but you will run out of breath, and I never told you to ‘shut up.’

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      7. I know I’ll run out breath; you’ve mastered dodging the conversation.
        God is mistake free, and so it follows that Its permitting of the ownership of people as property, and beating them — and not even correcting this in the 10 commandments (where It finds time to write 4 commandments about Itself) — all this is an error free narrative?

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      8. @ALLalt

        I’m sorry but you are at a supreme disadvantage. We actually believe the scriptures, ALL of them….

        We understand the purpose and nature of the law, and how the New Testament delineates, explains, and proves the utmost consistency of God and His marvellous wisdom.

        The law works wrath……….but the law is also good…..IF a man use it lawfully, and herein is the rub.

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      9. My disadvantage is not your blind faith and lack of moral autonomy (as you state here). My disadvantage is your absence of critical faculties on this issue.

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      10. I claim nothing Allalt, other than to recognize the goodness of God and His revealed word which answers all the issues of life to an honest heart.

        The first step of honesty is admitting God is. There is no ambiguity on this. Your conscience knows this, that you have gifts above and beyond that of crows or prairie dogs.

        In His image. Period.

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      11. CS,
        Some time in the future, we should have a conversation about what it means to be ‘perfect’. I’m not sure Christians are on the same page when they ascribe ‘perfection’ to God. It’s pretty deep philosophy!
        It’s my opinion that thinking about the nature of God is not the same as ‘challenging God’. It’s also my opinion that God can handle any challenges we throw at him and actually enjoys the dialogue! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      12. Your post is wrong on whether you can enslave Jews, you can. Your post is wrong on whether you can beat your slaves, you can. Your post is wrong about whether prisoners of war can be used as slaves, they can. Your post doesn’t mention whether one can have sex with their own slave, one can.

        But it’s nice to see your a slavery apologist.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Firstly, don’t get all high and mighty by accusing me of not answering your questions. I just read your entire post and it doesn’t answer my question.
        I haven’t asked if slavery is good or bad. I haven’t asked if it can be justified. I have asked whether you have a changing God or not.

        Your response is a link to a post that misrepresents what the Bible says about slavery, but does recognise that slavery is the nonconsenting ownership of other people as property, and says not only that that’s okay, but it’s just like being a parent.

        Well, it’s not. Children cannot be inherited. Children can go free eventually (non-Jewish slaves cannot). You can beat your slaves so long as they don’t die (you cannot beat your children). But, that’s not even on topic: did your God change? ColorStorm says no. SoM says yes. You say slavery is as good as parenthood.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Firstly, don’t get all high and mighty because I accused you of not answering my questions. You didn’t. That’s not high and mighty–it’s stating a fact.

        Second, yes, children ARE inherited, when their parents die. They become slaves of the state, if they don’t become slaves of the closest relative.

        Third, no. God didn’t change. We have.

        Humanity grew up. (At least, some of us did.) Unfortunately, immature black-and-white thinking is still a huge problem among Atheists. So…maybe JB’s thesis about enslaving the godless makes sense after all. 🙂

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      15. Nope.

        He also hasn’t banned Socialism, Communism, or Feminism.

        But, as an adult who reasons through things, I believe those systems do more harm than good these days. We’ve evolved past them.

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      16. I can’t help but notice the black-and-white nature of your question. Is this a trap?

        God is “okay” with slavery the same way he’s “okay” with Socialism, Communism, and Feminism. It’s a social system, which means it involves humans, which means it’s going to have good and bad results.

        Humans WILL abuse any system, no matter what it is.

        So, I don’t know? Is that the same as God being “okay” with it? (What does that even mean?)

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      17. Two things, then…
        (1) We’re in agreement. God is okay with slavery. That’s fine by me.
        (2) Jesus was a socialist. I don’t think God is ‘okay’ with slavery, I think Jesus actually advocates it.

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      18. Okay, you can think that. It would be an interesting conversation to have with somebody who believes morality is objective.

        “If God doesn’t exist, neither does sin.”
        “There’s nothing wrong with murder…and there’s nothing wrong with slavery.”
        “The Atheists are already receiving the benefits of this [grown up] culture, while denying that God shaped it.”

        This is from the original post. ^ Do you disagree with any of it?

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      19. I think the idea of owning someone as property is abhorrent. I think children are to be treated as people, and striving for their obedience is meant to help them develop as people; you shouldn’t command things of them that will damage them; you shouldn’t beat them.
        I hope you don’t treat your children with no greater constraints than the ones listed in the sections we’re talking about. That would be child abuse.
        The thing I’m okay with is God thinking slavery is okay. Because at least that’s a consistent and meaningful interpretation of the literature.

        As to the three statements, I disagree with the latter two. I don’t know how ‘sin’ differs from immorality, so I’m going to refrain having a position on that. As a point of clarity, though, I do think immorality can exist without a God.

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      20. “striving for their obedience is meant to help them develop as people…” YES!

        “you shouldn’t command things of them that will damage them” AGREED!

        “you shouldn’t beat them” obviously. Grown-ups realize this.

        But you’re still failing to view God as a parent, trying to help humanity “grow up.”

        I’m a mother. Do you think I’m “okay with” poopy diapers? Seriously, answer the question, please. 🙂

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      21. I’m sure you’re fine with baby poo.

        I thought slave owners were the parents. You’re really shifting the goal posts.

        But, let’s follow this new thread — that God is the parent, and we are the children. Why do we get hard lined decrees about homosexuality and adultery, and yet owning and beating a slave is part of some softer-touch learning curve?
        Slave-ownership, nah, God’s okay with us taking as long as we take to figure that out. Consenting sex among people of the same gender? That can happen precisely no longer, stone those creeps.

        This kind of inconsistency is the result of making up excuses after the fact. A better explanation is that the text was not inspired by an all good all knowing God, but the authors were all completely mortal and from slave-keeping homophobic cultures.

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      22. God compares our human relationships with our relationship to Him all the time.

        Human institutions are micro-examples of the Macro-Relationship. I haven’t shifted the goal post.

        As for your questions about “why” God decrees certain things hard-line and gives leniency about others, I can only speculate. I can only compare God’s instructions to his kids with my own relationship with my children…

        My youngest is allowed to poop in her pants. It’s actually EXPECTED. But, when my 5-year-old does it, she gets in trouble. She knows better. Could I go ahead and tell the youngest, “Thou Shalt Not Poop in Your Pants?” Sure. But it won’t do any good.

        It’s inconsistent because the children I’m talking to are not the same people. They’re both in two different places on the path to adulthood.

        The problem for Atheists is: they deny there is an objective goal in the first place. They say there is no path, and they are supposed to believe there is no such thing as a “right/good/correct” (adult) society. Our current society is simply different from the slave-owning one.

        That’s ridiculous. Of course our society is better. We’re more grown up. They were primitive. Babies. We are grown-ups. Adults. And God is the one guiding our development toward–ultimately, ideally–perfection. Himself.

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      23. You might be talking to different children, but God’s book is talking to everyone. Eating shellfish? An abomination. Slaves… I’ll wait until you figure it out.
        We’re not talking about the same law applying different to different people (which you are, with your kids), we’re talking about meaningless rules being hard-lined and meaningful rules being ignored by God so that we can figure them out.
        And figure them out we did. That’s Humanism, though.

        Put another way, do you let your kids figure smashing windows is wrong by them self, but cut their feet off for leaving the table before asking?

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      24. No–“God’s book” is NOT talking to everyone. It’s talking to the ancient Israelites.

        And–no–I don’t let my kids figure out EVERYTHING. Perhaps that suggests some of the answer to your question of why God decreed some things thousands of years ago, and not others. What did you want him to do? Hand Moses all three copies of the Humanist Manifesto? Maybe also the U.S. Constitution, and all the amendments…plus the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? They weren’t ready for it.

        Now, are you going to answer the question being put to every Atheist in this thread? Here’s what I wrote to JZ, down below:

        “If there is not objective truth…if there is no overarching/transcendental goal we’re striving for…if there is no such thing as objective “enlightenment” (hey, there’s your word)…if right/wrong do not really exist…if morality is invented by humans… (Let’s see, how else can I phrase this, so you don’t accuse me of moving the goal posts.) If there is no objective moral Standard…. then how do YOU justify being outraged by slavery?”

        Other versions of the same question, using YOUR words are, “What do you mean we’ve ‘figured out’ the rules? Are the tenets of Humanism objectively right?”

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      25. I am not sure why you are ducking the point: the punishment God offers in his Book is is not proportional to the crime. You are stoned if you are a man who loves a man, but keeping a slave is not even considered a transgression. Eating shellfish is a transgression, but beating your slave nearly to death is not.

        They’re not ready to hear ‘Don’t own people as property’, but they are ready to have who they can love dictated to them? Who are these people? Oh yeah, slave-keeping homophobes. The text reads like it was written by people without divine inspiration, and that explains the capriciousness of the definitions and punishments for different transgressions. Your parent analogy fails at every single level.
        What is listed as a crime and the severity of the punishment is completely random. That’s capricious. And yet you think it good, commanded by a good being.

        “If there is not objective truth…if there is no overarching/transcendental goal we’re striving for…

        These are not the same thing.

        if there is no such thing as objective “enlightenment” (hey, there’s your word)…

        I don’t know what you mean when you use the word “Enlightenment” here, but what I mean when I use it doesn’t make sense here.

        if right/wrong do not really exist…

        Do you think I accept that claim? What gave you that impression?

        if morality is invented by humans…

        … Err…

        If there is no objective moral Standard….

        Why did you capitalise the word “Standard”?

        then how do YOU justify being outraged by slavery?

        You want my view on morality, go to my blog.

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      26. “The Punishment God offers in his book is not proportional to the crime…”

        Says who? Humanists?

        I haven’t ducked a single question, and I’m growing bored watching you Atheists do so, while projecting that accusation on me…

        But, I’ll go ahead and take it on faith that you have a very logical, consistent answer to the morality question on your blog. Forgive me for not hunting for it.

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      27. Okay, fine. God’s response asinine noncrime crimes is defensibly aggressive, and his response to some egregious criminal noncrimes is not woefully inadequate.
        How do we know this, again?
        Oh yeah, God is good, ask no questions. The logical defence of this is ‘I said ask no questions’.
        I’m actually quite used to nonsense sentiment, and it is all you’ve offered. If that’s all you’ve actually got, I’m signing off.

        I’m not looking forward to hearing about an American mother stoning her children for being unruly, by the way. So, make sure you’re better than the Bible asks you to be, okay?

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      28. You’re absolutely off your rocker, Allallt.

        Seriously, are you spitting on the keyboard while you’re typing away all of this stuff? I can almost feel my hair being swept backwards, as it’s hit by your stream-of-conscious blast.

        Chill out.

        JB says he’ll read whatever you want him to from your blog, if you link it.

        Meanwhile, my analogy is just fine, thanks. Relationships aren’t black and white. And my children don’t always understand the WHY of everything. But, as they grow, they understand better and better.

        My advice: grow up.

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      29. I haven’t said relationships are black and white. That’s just your defence for when someone disagrees with you and you have no reasonable retort. You get to make that claim and it projects onto the other person the accusation that they’ve characterised relationships that way, which I haven’t. You then get to imply you have the nuanced position, and that my position is too simplistic to consider. It’s a rhetoric game. But it is not reason and it is not convincing; it’s just dancing around for the cheerleaders.

        I should, of course, just leave you to your slavery apologetic and slander of atheists as amoral irrational meat bags. But, actually, I find the dehumanisation of people that can see through your theology abhorrent. I find teaching kids that completely random things are sin, and the punishments are capricious and unrelated to the severity of the crime unconscionable because people who believe that are the kind of people who go on hysterical witch hints before the verdict is ever in.

        If you were just uttering it at home or from the pews, I’d have to ignore it. But you bait people who disagree with you into the discussion, and then look for the buttons that wind them up, and then offer judgemental little quips when you perceive that you’ve actually done it. I know JB hates this accusation, but it’s a game. It’s not a discussion; you’re not trying to listen to the other side. Neither is JB and neither is ColorStorm.

        Parenthood is meant to be about protecting someone vulnerable. Slavery is about ownership of a person to you own end. I don’t believe you honestly confuse the two at all. I think you just realised you have to be a slavery apologist to square with those passages, so you’re talking the talk.

        The one thing you got right is that humanity did grow up and it is maturing. But to give credit to the Bible is misguided.

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      30. I don’t need to get defensive, because you haven’t actually made any sort of case.

        Are you going to include a link to your position, or just keep blasting away at mine, while standing in thin air?

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      31. Yep. Probably his fault.

        Feel free to address his criticism of your “objective” (subjective) morality. I was planning to drop out, so you didn’t have two threads at once.

        Or, if you’d rather conclude that you just CAN’T continue any more, for some reason (ultimately falling on my or his shoulders), that’s cool, too.
        Whatevs.

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      32. I sent you a link to a search page. There are a couple dozen posts there. It might be worth starting a conversation under the post you’re referring to, instead of expanding the mess down here.

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      33. I manage things here and don’t venture out much.

        But thanks for the invite! I’ve read some, and I’m willing to read whatever you consider pertinent to the next conversation.

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      34. I went out for the weekend and did something fun, and when I came back I found another 100 comments in basically every thread. Among them, you accused me of being inconsistent. I was wondering if you could defend that accusation.

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      35. I don’t know where it was or specifically what I was referencing at the time. Sorry.

        Since we had been discussing slavery, and since you defined “objective” morality as whatever brings the most “well-being,” it probably had to do with that.

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      36. What I’m saying is: I don’t remember what context I was thinking when I made the comment.

        Sorry.

        But, from what I can recall, it had to do with your reference to morality as being “objective” by tying it to “well-being.”

        (Also, there’s this comment of yours: https://branyancomedy.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/lets-enslave-the-heathen/comment-page-1/#comment-14406

        (1) We’re in agreement. God is okay with slavery. That’s fine by me.
        (2) Jesus was a socialist. I don’t think God is ‘okay’ with slavery…

        Sounds a little inconsistent to me.

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      37. Funny that you cut it off where you did. I think the consistency is obvious to anyone bothering the read the whole comment. (It’s only a little sloppily written.)

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      38. Yeah it is.
        (1) You said God was okay with slavery. I agreed.
        (2) I then took it further, saying “okay” was an understatement and that God (and Jesus) actively advocated it.

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      39. I said God is okay with it in the same way I’m “okay” with poopy diapers.

        Now you’re suggesting they actually LIKE when their kids shit their pants?

        Okay. We don’t “agree,” and you know it.

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      40. Your “two points” are how Atheists have long wielded the power to climb all over the internet, endlessly going back-and-forth with religious people, without having to identify (let alone defend) their own position. Essentially: “No, I never said THAT! We’re supposed to be discussing YOUR beliefs. So get busy convincing me!” And then, when they want to criticize specific Theology, “I just enjoy literature!”

        Two points:

        (1) I’m not “citing” your beliefs. You may either agree with my assessment or deny it. (But if you deny it by insisting, “I don’t BELIEVE God doesn’t exist! I DISBELIEVE he does,” I will roll my eyes.) You believe there’s no God, until you get further evidence.

        (2) This isn’t Book Club. I’m not interested in your literary opinion.

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      41. Okay. Well, I’m not interested in discussions with people who refuse even the simplest of philosophical concepts (like a default position) and neither am I interested in having a discussion with someone who has simply been holding the ‘you don’t believe so I don’t have to talk to you’ card (against the instruction of her Holy Book!) for when things get to difficult for her limited familiarity with philosophy or rational thought.

        So, we’ve been wasting each others time.

        (For the record, we’re having this discussion under a thread which says it would be justified to keep me as a slave. So, no matter how much you imagine I’ve used some sophistry to climb into this conversation, you may want to consider there’s another reason I am in this discussion.)

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      42. I haven’t refused the simplest of philosophical concepts. I’m simply not allowing you to draw artificial lines between disbelief and a belief-that-something-isn’t. It’s nonsense.

        Also, a normal person says, “No, I think there’s a good chance God exists!” or “You’re right: until further evidence, my default position is that God doesn’t exist.”
        But a pretentious Atheist, playing the game, says, “I’m going to need a citation.”

        I’d LOVE to go back to the original topic of the post and have you explain why it’s wrong to enslave you–without appealing to that literary character. But you’ll need to refrain from stuffing “my holy book” down my throat. I owe you nothing. I told JZ and Ark both to burn the Bible. And the only thing worse than a word-playing Atheist is a Bible-thumping one.

        Don’t flatter yourself. I’m not trying to “win” you over–and, no, I DON’T have to talk to you.

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      43. Again, several things:
        (1) You can’t pretend to grasp philosophy, reject the idea of a default position, and appeal to what ‘normal people’ do to support your claim, while also expecting to be taken seriously.
        (2) Yep, people who care about the topic will ask for a citation when something amazing is claimed.
        (3) You want my position on morality, in general, and slavery, in particular, come to my blog. I’m not repeating myself for someone who doesn’t understand philosophy.
        (3) I don’t have a holy book.
        (4) You are such a self righteous moron. This “I owe you nothing”, “I don’t have to talk to you” nonsense is self-aggrandising distraction. I have not said you owe me anything. There’s no reason for you to say any of that except to be playing the victim, pretending like I’m bullying you.
        (5) I’m sure you really can’t think of anything worse than an atheist who actually knows what the Bible says. I mean, how are you meant to lie to people who have access to the source material?
        (6) As an aside, God is not ‘okay’ with slavery in the passive way you assume It is, at least, that’s not a reasonable interpretation of the actual text. God specifically says how to do it, and it’s barbaric. That’s like having the ability to condemn anything, and being on the record condemning favouring Pepsi over Coke, but start a sentence with ‘Hey, if you must rape… make sure it doesn’t kill them’. The circles you’re willing to go round in to make this morally acceptable is troubling. The fact you’d compare it to parenting, as a parent yourself, is alarming.

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      44. You’re starting to run at the mouth again, Allallt.

        You can explain what’s wrong with slavery–which is the topic of this post–(along with what’s wrong with being “self-righteous” and “self-aggrandizing,” for that matter)–or you’re right, we’ve been wasting our time.

        Sorry you thought everyone was interested in your interpretation of the Bible. I don’t know where you got that idea. But let me spell it out clearly: I could not care less.

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      45. ?

        I’m WAITING for you to tell me why I’m wrong for thinking you have no way to object to slavery, without appealing to my “narrative character” or whatever you called God.

        Are you going to do that?

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      46. (1)You can wait until the universe ends in a heat death. If you actually care, it’s all written out in blog posts on my blog. Come and search for ‘morality’ and indulge. If you don’t care enough to search for my opinion, I’d be a fool to burn the fuel to write it all out again.
        (2) As your position on slavery comes from within a particular collection of literature, I should be able to object on the basis on your interpretation of that literature.

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      47. I don’t care enough to search your opinion.

        You came here.

        The post is about enslaving heathens on the basis that they can’t complain.

        Do you have a scientific objection to the thesis?

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      48. (1) Yes.
        (2) I’m not wasting my effort on it here, for you — someone who clearly isn’t interested.
        (3) What has science got to do with it? Why aren’t I allowed to use other branches of philosophy, so long as it isn’t literature theology.

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      49. I consider philosophy a part of science. Go ahead and use it.

        And actually, yes, you are wasting your effort on me here. If you’re going to leave, then do it. (And if you need to leave with great drama and fanfare, go ahead and leave an ad-hominem on your way out.)

        But I’m not coming to your blog, and I don’t know why you came to mine. Address the topic of the post, or be gone.

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      50. I thought this was your dad’s blog. The only time I ever went to yours was when you invited me.
        You consider philosophy a subset of science? Right. It might be easier to admit you misspoke or update your parameters to allow a broader purview than to pretend that’s what you were saying all along.

        Out of curiosity, given that you don’t care enough to visit my blog, what would you do to a 500 summation written in the comments? Ignore it? Recite a rehearsed rebuttal, regardless of the content of what I have said? Demand you need God, no matter what my post is, thus demonstrating this isn’t (and never was) a conversation? I find it hard to believe you’d read it if it were right here, but if it’s 3 clicks away you can’t be bothered.

        (“Ad hominem” isn’t hyphenated. It’s a literal translation.)

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      51. I’m a co-admin. I help keep the comments moving around here. (And I’ve written a post or two, though I didn’t write this one.)

        I have always considered philosophy a part of science, and I’ve never said otherwise. Last summer, while talking with YOU, I said:

        “All the scientific disciplines are tangled with philosophical problems–and they do a complicated dance with what goes on in each of our minds, to make up what we call “reality.” So, it’s hard to not to jump around.”

        Just a few days ago, Violet told me she doesn’t trust philosophy because it leads to “overthinking.” And I laughed at her.

        So, philosophy is–and always has been–fine with me.

        I also tolerated your shamefully self-indulgent, 2000-word essay-comments, when you were staying on topic. But much of the time, a plethora of words is used to mask unclear thinking. I edit thoughts and don’t treat my every word like a gift to the listener. I respect my reader’s time. I expect the same.

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      52. (1) Never have a written a 2,000 word comment to you. At extremes, I imagine I push 500. I do pick my words carefully.
        (2) Nothing in that comment you quoted makes philosophy a subset of science. And neither should it. Science is a subset of philosophy.

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      53. You send me 3 full articles and call a 700 word response ridiculous?
        You shouldn’t, because I’d kill you in your sleep and take your children as hostages to stop your family coming after me.
        In general one shouldn’t take slaves because it’s immoral. For my explanation of morality, go to my blog.

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      54. (Here’s one of your 900-word responses, which was flanked on either side by my comments of less than 300 each. You’re wordy, Allallt. And I know this isn’t the first time you’ve been called on it. Just own it and try to do better.)

        I’m still not going to your blog (again).

        I already read your explanation that measuring societal “well-being” is somehow objective, and I agreed with your critics. That’s not objective.
        It’s just another way of phrasing your opinion that people should care how others feel.

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      55. Societal well-being? Try again.
        Brain states aren’t objective? Try again.

        I don’t care how God feels. Does that stop your morality being objective?

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      56. I’m not “trying” anything.

        You are supposed to be “trying” to make a case. I’m not making it for you.

        I’m a human, so my opinion matters as much as yours. Why should your view that “well-being” is a good goal trump my opinion that it doesn’t matter–at all?

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      57. Oops. You’re referencing God again. Are you going to get around to telling me how you can call your opinion “objective” when it’s still–in the end–just an opinion?

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      58. I’m trying to understand the hurdles you’re actually setting. You seem to have stated that it has to be more than just measurable, it actually has to matter…. to what? To people? To the universe? Isn’t it enough to say there’s a system that allows us to say some people are wrong?

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      59. You can’t take one person’s subjective opinion and add it to another person’s subjective opinion, and another and another and another and another, and suddenly have something that’s objective.

        The standard for right and wrong must be wholly apart from human opinion to be objective. It means discovering it–not inventing it.

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      60. A single, Creator Being, transcending over all of reality, is not subjective. God, if he’s real, would be base reality. He’s the giver of the Laws of Nature including the Laws of Physics and the Laws of Morality, which we humans discover, rather than invent.

        Look, consistent Atheists recognize this, too:

        “…to say that something is wrong because… it is forbidden by God, is…. perfectly understandable to anyone who believes in a law-giving God. But to say that something is wrong… even though no God exists to forbid it, is not understandable… The concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain but their meaning is gone.” -Richard Taylor, Atheist Philosopher

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      61. I like your tactic: you’ve found an atheist you agree with and have called that atheist consistent. That doesn’t really hold sway, though.

        In your model, in what sense do moral laws exist? Where are they? Because you seem very much to be describing the subjective experience of a God to be the arbiter of objectivity. And if you accept that, you should accept anything, if you’re being consistent.

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      62. I am really torn between WANTING to answer your question, because I’ve already answered this for Violet (about sixty times), and it would be as easy as copying and pasting…and being annoyed that you’re still trying to grill me about MY standard, instead of answering the question put to YOU.

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      63. The question you put to me. I’ve made my motives for my questions very clear: I want to know what when I give you an answer and you try to tear it down for being unknowable or subjective that you’re not being inconsistent. I want to know you’re not giving your position a free pass while being unreasonably critical of opposing views.

        If you can’t offer me that kind of context, I take you back to the position that only a fool would waste time in that argument.

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      64. How about you don’t worry about MY inconsistencies, and just worry about yours? Do you have an objective standard? Or is it only “objective” when you get to define “objective” as “majority human opinion?” You can be honest… I already know it’s the latter…

        Here are the links to some of my responses to Violet, since Atheists struggle to talk about their beliefs without comparing them to a Theists. (That’s where they get their name!) 🙂

        https://branyancomedy.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/woes-from-a-deconvert/comment-page-1/#comment-15072
        https://branyancomedy.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/woes-from-a-deconvert/comment-page-1/#comment-15092
        https://branyancomedy.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/woes-from-a-deconvert/comment-page-1/#comment-15122

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      65. Few things
        (1) I haven’t called myself an atheist. So, in this case, that’s where you get your name for me.
        (2) I’m taking this comment as implicit admission that you are going to be unreasonable and inconsistent in your attempts to criticise my view.
        (3) You actually don’t care enough to visit my blog to look up my view, despite the fact I’ve even linked it.
        (4) You claim to have visited my blog, but are talking about subjective majorities and societal wellbeing, which means you haven’t been there or can’t read.
        (5) (from 2, 3 and 4) I would be a fool to waste my time on you here.
        (6) “if you’re seeking God and genuinely trying to make the best choice, based on your limited knowledge”
        Why is this good? Because that’s God’s objective opinion?
        (7) “He just wants us to do as much good as we’re able to do”
        You’ve just defined “good” as seeking God. Are you telling me theology is the only good in the world?
        (8) https://branyancomedy.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/woes-from-a-deconvert/comment-page-1/#comment-15092
        Up until the last 4 words, this wasn’t completely objectionable.
        In fact, if you take God as a metaphor for goodness or the sublime, this whole comment is acceptable.
        (9) “Secularism keeps repeating there is no objective morality”
        Secularism is a political view about religion’s place in politics. Even religious people can be secular.
        (10) So, having read your comments, nothing there really tells me anything about the objectivity of good and bad. All ti says is that you value doing what you think God wants you to do. That’s subjective on 3 levels: what you value; what you think about what God thinks; what God thinks.

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      66. Just trying to understand the parameters of the challenge. Clearly, you don’t know them either. You’re just waiting around to level challenges at my view regardless of whether they’d hit your view harder. You’re literally planning to be a hypocrite. At least, that’s how it looks.

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      67. No. You have no consistent way to answer, by ANY standard.

        At least THESE Atheists are honest:

        “Those who doubt the effect of religion on morality should seriously ask the question: Just what are the immutable moral laws of secularism? Be prepared to answer, if you are honest, that such laws simply do not exist!” –Atheist, John Steinrucken

        “If there is no single moral authority, we have to in some sense ‘create’ values for ourselves… that means that moral claims are not true or false in the same way as factual claims are… moral claims are judgments it is always possible for someone to disagree with…” –Atheist Julian Baggini

        “When one gives up Christian belief one thereby deprives oneself of the right to Christian morality. For the latter is not self-evident… Christianity is a system.” –Atheist Friedrich Nietzche (He also said, “[if there is no God] everything is permitted.”)

        It’s just a shame that you won’t address the actual content of these quotes and explain why you disagree. Instead, you only want to talk about the THEISTIC standard of right and wrong, over and over and over and over. If God is the law-giver, then his nature determines right and wrong. That’s consistent. (Another comment I sent to Violet on what objective means: https://branyancomedy.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/the-terrible-truth-about-canadians/comment-page-1/#comment-16052)

        But, if you take away the law-giver, you take away the standard. Subjective human opinion doesn’t become objective just because there’s a large group of them. I guess I don’t blame you for not wanting to answer the question…

        Because, you’re right, I’m prepared to slap it away.

        I’m prepared because I can already tell your idea is muddled and stupid.
        I mean–you just essentially admitted to my dad that you don’t believe in free-choice, and you’re a Determinist. The fact that you keep lamenting that I’M wasting YOUR time is laughable.

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      68. Also:
        Numbering your long, stream-of-conscious hogwash isn’t philosophy.

        Endlessly bickering about the definition of terms isn’t philosophy, either.

        Your morality isn’t objective. I’m sorry I called you on it. (But, no, I’m not actually sorry)

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      69. (1) Never called it philosophy. That’s you’re weird projection.
        (2) Sorry I ever tried to understand the context of the challenge set by a person who doesn’t care about it.
        (3) Numbering them into discrete units means it’s not a stream of consciousness. Again, that’s a phrase with a meaning.

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      70. There are several problems with your thesis on objective morality. For the most part, the commenters on your blog have raised mostly valid objections.

        The primary problem is that your (and Sam Harris’) reference to ‘well-being’ cannot possibly be objective. ‘Well-being’ is a value judgment that is unique to every individual. The notion that an MRI will reveal, objectively, a person’s well-being is just ridiculous.

        But I don’t expect you to take my word for it. You can take Sam Harris’ word:

        “It is also conceivable that a science of human flourishing could be possible, and yet people could be made equally happy by very different ‘moral’ impulses. Perhaps there is no connection between being good and feeling good— and, therefore, no connection between moral behavior (as generally conceived) and subjective well-being. In this case, rapists, liars, and thieves would experience the same depth of happiness as the saints. This scenario stands the greatest chance of being true, while still seeming quite far-fetched. . . .
        However, if evil turned out to be as reliable a path to happiness as goodness is, my argument about the moral landscape would still stand, as would the likely utility of neuroscience for investigating it. It would no longer be an especially ‘moral’ landscape; rather it would be a continuum of well-being, upon which saints and sinners would occupy equivalent peaks.” – Sam Harris “The Moral Landscape” p. 190

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      71. This is a strange part of Harris’ book, where he seems to get his own thesis wrong. Or, at least, expresses what he’s trying to say incredibly badly (there’s a chance the clause “moral behaviour (as generally conceived)” is the point of confusion here).

        How can it possibly be that evil is a reliable path to happiness, given that Harris’ thesis define goodness as that which leads to happiness… it’s a self contradictory idea. It may be that he is clumsily flipping between that which generally thought of as good and evil, and that which is good and evil by his definition. It may be that what he means is that it is possible that we could discover things that actually moral (by his definition) which overturn or contradict our moral intuition (which is what I use as a synonym for ‘morality as generally conceived’)

        Now, I don’t have a copy of The Moral Landscape any more, but there is something else that strikes me as strange about this particular passage (which I have seen quoted a few times, but not seen Harris address).
        Do you notice that it’s self-interested? That the point of behaving a certain way is about the effect it has on the actor’s wellbeing, according to this passage. That is not what I recall of the book in general. In general, the book dealt with the changes in wellbeing for all people effected by the action.

        For the record, though, what Harris says in this passage doesn’t support your accusation. You are saying that fMRIs cannot objectively reveal wellbeing. Harris, here, is saying that rapists and liars may cause themselves as much good and saints do. These are not even related claims. (And I do note that Harris’ claim here is at odds with his thesis in general.)

        As to what you are saying — that fMRIs will not be able to objectively reveal one’s wellbeing — I disagree. Wellbeing is a phenomenon that occurs in the mind, and the mind relates exactly to the brain. The brain is material and so can be read. We need a better dictionary than we currently have, and we need a better resolution scanner. But, that’s not even the point: one doesn’t need to have the fMRI scanner; one simply needs to admit that changes in wellbeing will relate to the material state of the brain. Once you have that, you have an objective metric for wellbeing.

        It is possible to doubt, as a religious person, that the brain will relate to wellbeing; you just need to call on the soul as an intermediate. Don’t get me wrong, there are all sorts of issues there, too. You can also reject the thesis by saying that human wellbeing and morality are completely divorced from each other; many religious people do make that claim, and I think I’m right in saying SoM and ColorStorm are Dickheads of that ilk. But you can probably see a few other of the posts where I address that, too.

        As to your claim that wellbeing is subjective, this is where the distinction between objectivity and subjectivity blur a little. We can start with colour. You have no idea what I see. You don’t know how my brain graphically deals with wavelengths 450 – 495nm (“Blue”). Sure, we’ve both agreed to call it blue, but only because we are responding to the wavelength — we may be ‘seeing’ differently. But there is an objective truth. The actual experience of blue (instead of the wavelength) is called its ‘qualia’. Qualia definitely only appears in the mind; it is the qualities that arise there.
        As with wellbeing; the brain states will be an objective fact. We already know that certain neurotransmitters cause certain feelings, and we know people report the same emotions. So there is a strong relationship there between the objective facts (presence of certain hormones) and the qualia (emotion). So that’s a very good reason to think the methodology is valid.

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      72. “This is a strange part of Harris’ book, where he seems to get his own thesis wrong.”
        LOL 🙂

        “It is possible to doubt, as a religious person, that the brain will relate to wellbeing; you just need to call on the soul as an intermediate.”
        Fascinating statement! My theology allows for a brain/soul overlap. Despite the accusations of my detractors, I really don’t have it figured out. I’m not at all certain how the brain works. I’m not at all certain how consciousness works. At the same time, I don’t believe the ‘experts’ know much more than I do. Looking at an MRI to figure out how a person is feeling seems a bit like looking at an automobile to understand a drive along the Santa Monica freeway.

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      73. If you know the wave length of the light, you know the colour.
        I’ve seen technology that can read the image processing part of the brain and replicate the image the person was looking at. I’ll try to find it.
        I’ve seen papers to purpose to be able to read a person’s mind with technology available 10 years ago well enough to predict a simple decision they were going to make 7 seconds before they made it.
        I don’t think it’s as vague as asking a forensics team to see which road they think the car has taken.

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      74. I did address that in my last comment. We already see relationships between the objective reality and the reported qualia. So long as that relationship holds, all the study would need is numbers from the brain.
        Reading the brain doesn’t need to tell you what bliss feels like. It just needs to tell you the subject is feeling something called bliss.

        I’m getting the reference for the study now. Will you be able to access it, or do you want me to download and link the PDF too?

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      75. I sent you a link to a search page. There are a couple dozen posts there. It might be worth starting a conversation under the post you’re referring to, instead of expanding the mess down here.

        Liked by 1 person

      76. No–“God’s book” is NOT talking to everyone. It’s talking to the ancient Israelites.

        Actually, the Prophet is right, because Yhwh revealed his actual (hidden) repulsion to slavery not to the Jews, but to the Indians (Ashoka, emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, who abolished slavery in the 3rd Century BCE) and the Chinese (Qin Dynasty, who eliminated slaves in the late 200’s BCE).

        In fact, while these people’s were busy “finding” Yhwh’s hidden “goal,” he, Yhwh, popped on down to earth, as Jesus, and failed entirely to mention it at all to anyone… Knowing, obviously, that the meme would spread from India and China and eventually catch up to the place where he visited.

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      77. So, Prophet, why do you think Ashoka, emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, didn’t mention Yhwh… who, according to you, obviously revealed the TRUTH about slavery?

        Or was Ywh diguised as Khrisna?

        Clever!

        Actually, not so clever, as Khrisna didn’t denounce slavery.

        Mysterious ways.

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      78. So, let me get this straight: there is no objective moral truth?

        That is what you said, right?

        Goodness, this is confusing… Yhwh doesn’t change, but he does… Yhwh is the objective source of morality, Yhwh isn’t the objective source of morality.

        Great to see your particular Middle Eastern god, Yhwh, is so, so, so very good at communicating.

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      79. There is objective moral truth.

        The objective moral truth is: “God interacts with humanity differently, as it grows.”

        But, I understand why you’re struggling. My little brother didn’t get it, either.

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      80. That’s not what you said… But I see you’re shifting the goal posts again, saying “they deny there is an objective goal in the first place”

        So, gone is the objective truth, and in its place, a “goal” which we’re heading towards.

        Neptune you are slippery!

        But unfortunately for you, you have simply described human history, no god required.

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      81. Yeah, blame ME for your inability to comprehend, as usual…

        If your next comment isn’t an answer to the main question, the only thing you’ll get from me is a big “LOL!”

        If there is not objective truth…if there is no overarching/transcendental goal we’re striving for…if there is no such thing as objective “enlightenment” (hey, there’s your word)…if right/wrong do not really exist…if morality is invented by humans… (Let’s see, how else can I phrase this, so you don’t accuse me of moving the goal posts.) If there is no objective moral Standard…. then how do YOU justify being outraged by slavery?

        Majority rules, right?

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      82. Ah, so there is, in fact, an objective moral truth, it’s just that we’re not allowed to know it on any given day because it’s hidden, but rest assured, we’re working towards a “goal” which, although looking just like human cultural development is, in fact, the slow and painful and bloody and terrifying and cruel realisation of this hidden thing.

        I see. Got it. Thanks.

        Great to know you know exactly what the MO of your Middle Eastern god, Yhwh, is… Even if it contradicts that god’s stated words.

        Like

      83. Seriously, I’m impressed. Knowing the things you so obviously know for certain, you should have followers. People need to hear this TRUE, anti-bible, message that you carry.

        Like

      84. Ah, so by your obvious revelation, it would seem, then, that the Middle Eastern god, Yhwh, first “revealed” a hint of this “goal” (regarding his repulsion to slavery) to the Chinese and the Indians long before Jesus, who was actually Yhwh… But who never mentioned it.

        Your argument is airtight!

        I swear, Yhwh has revealed himself to you. You’re a sage!

        Like

      85. Seriously, I’m impressed. You have displayed an extraordinary level of cowardice. I’m gonna make your first statement an addendum to the blog post so we make sure the readers can see the uselessness of atheism.

        Like

      86. Right, in other words, “I’m not going to talk about specific Theology with you (Allallt) because you still haven’t answered the question from the Atheist perspective.”

        Like

      1. Well, as you have oft mentioned how dredging up old posts is anathema to you, just write a simple two lines right here, on Dad’s new post on the
        Christian definition of sin.

        I’ll go grab a fresh coffee while you type …

        Like

      2. Coward …
        Because you know that once you do, daddy’s little challenge/question will be chewed up and spat out for the disingenuous nonsense it is.

        You are all so truly shallow it is quite amazing.
        But not in the least unexpected, I might add.

        Like

      3. We’re busy talking to new people. You’re clogging up the thread with the same old dance. (Though, I appreciate the LOL! at the mental picture of you being able to “chew up and spit out” the challenge/question with the word “evolution.” Oooooh scary!)

        Like

  5. Strange how you never hear people bitchin about the year of jubilee. How slaves who had the opportunity to ‘go free,’ but rejected it, because they actually enjoyed their ‘free’ and ‘better’ life a slave.

    How all debts were removed after seven years, and how God consistently remembered the poor. Many a ‘slave’ appreciated a good house, a roof, 3 squares, as opposed to a life of labor on the rock pile or working for the Babylonian Sanitation Department as Chief sewer cleaner.

    Slavery is never appreciated by they who do not judge fairly. But every man is a slave to someone and something ultimately. It’s a shame to be a slave to atheism though. No pay, no benefits, lousy food, and despising of all masters, especially the One who owns everything.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, included in that laughter is the myopia of unbelievers who are blind to the goodness of God.

        God’s mercy is unfailing. But who cares about context, his hatred of sin, and the pit people dig for themselves with no shovel!

        Like

      2. Would you wear a t-shirt that had the whole paragraph on it?

        “Strange how you never hear people bitchin about the year of jubilee. How slaves who had the opportunity to ‘go free,’ but rejected it, because they actually enjoyed their ‘free’ and ‘better’ life a slave.”

        Like

      3. “Free Slave and Loving It! Especially the beatings to an inch of my life!”(Exd 21?20)

        But let’s not forget, ONLY Jewish slaves could go free after 7 years. No such luck for the spoils of war, the conquered, or the kidnapped virgins, and their children, and their children’s children, and their children’s children’s children, and their children’s children’s children’s children.

        Are you perhaps, just perhaps, deliberately fogetting that, by Yhwh’s instructions, slaves were inheritable, like family heirlooms or any physical possession.

        Like

      4. Oh, apologies to the professor. Maybe if HE came here and answered some questions now and then, we wouldn’t be so confused about what evolution is!

        I blame the retarded Atheists who comment here.

        Like

      5. Nope… I just read the professor’s blog post, and it doesn’t answer any of my questions, either. Rats.
        Natural scientists are great at looking under microscopes, but they don’t communicate well. And they’re TERRIBLE philosophers.

        Oh, well.

        I guess I’ll have to keep asking Atheists WHY they’re embarrassed about human history. Slavery happened. Evolution did it. (Mindlessly!) We’re not better or worse now. We’re just different.

        Like

      6. John Zande is a religious fundamentalist! He believes YhWH exists absolutely. As a de-convert, I feel the need to distance myself from Zande’s ‘faux atheism’. He is not a naturalist! He does not trust in evolution!

        Like

      7. Are you perhaps, just perhaps, deliberately forgetting that, if Yhwh is a fictional construct, slavery is not ‘evil’, sin does not exist, and you are all worked up for no reason?
        You really should ditch your antiquated superstitions, Windbag.

        Like

    1. Maybe if your god had the foresight to encourage the Israelites to set up a decent welfare system then maybe rape pillage and slavery would not have been such an issue in the ”Good old Days”, right?

      Bot we all know Yahweh,right?
      Capricious old bastard through and through.

      Like

      1. Ark,

        I’m with you!

        God made a big mistake choosing Moses to lead his chosen people.

        Barack Obama, a fully trained community organizer, would have been much better for the job.

        It’s like going to Catholic Mass on any given Sunday and the all the priests either have thick foreign accents or speech impediments.

        Like

  6. I remember when Tim (my little brother) found out that our parents would eat the snacks they told him were off limits, once we were in bed. He FREAKED OUT!

    It’s hilarious to think back on it now. Because, as adults, we understand that having different rules for different times isn’t the same as “changing your mind” or “being unfair.” What’s not-so-hilarious is those among us, who are supposed to be adults, who still don’t get it.

    Good God, how do you deal with all of these 6-year-olds, simultaneously sticking their pudgy fingers in your face yelling, “YOU LIED!”

    Poor, black-and-white thinkers. You’re supposed to grow up and understand nuance at some point…

    Like

    1. Yes, we all know you support slavery, but it seems every other Christian here, including your father, doesn’t.

      Sorry, although I do salute your consistency. I don’t agree with your position (no one agrees with your position), but I can’t fault you for ignoring (contradicting) the strict pro-slavery position of your particular Middle Eastern god, Yhwh.

      Like

      1. I don’t support slavery, socialism, or communism. And I don’t support parents eating cookies that their children can’t.

        None of them are evidence of a person “changing his nature,” though. That’s my point. The goal has ALWAYS been for humans to grow, change, and be liberated.

        We’re the ones who have done the changing. (Well–some of us. You’re still Theologically 6-years-old.)

        Also: you haven’t answered the question. Take off your Theist hat and explain how you can be opposed to slavery.

        Like

      2. I am sure John is able to take care of himself in these discussions.
        Perhaps you would like to offer the Christian definition of sin and I will oblige by trying to answer your question.

        Like

      3. If there is no God, sin does not exist.
        The question that JZ is avoiding is:
        Without sin, how is there immoral or unethical behavior?

        You will not answer this question either.

        Like

      4. Of course! Tell me the Christian definition and we can laugh together at the silliness!

        Then…finally…at long last…after multiple assurances that you would…
        …you’ll answer the question.

        Like

  7. God doesn’t change His mind, but ironically non-believers do like to point out verses in the Bible where they think this is implied. I think these implications are the result of living in a fallen world. We live in the tension between God’s grace and our free will.

    Man created slavery. God never said it was ok, it’s more like He said, “Since you have chosen to do this…” It’s illustrated in a common parent/child scenario. My daughter recently told my grandson not to play in the creek. Not long after, he comes into the house obviously having ignored that rule. She commences to punish him, he claims he wasn’t “Playing in the creek” …. He was “wading to the other side.”

    He can argue up and down that he’s being punished unjustly, because she never specifically told him not to wade across the creek, she told him not to “play in the creek.” He can claim that SHE has changed HER mind. How many times as parents, do we tell our children what’s expected of them, but they tend initiate their own “selective perspective?” So now she says, “Don’t play in the creek. Don’t cross the creek. Don’t shove your brother into the creek. Don’t baptize your sister”….etc etc. (It starts to get kinda like Leviticus!!)

    And before anyone says, “How come a sovereign God didn’t know we’d do those things?” Please…..He knew. Just like my daughter innately “knew” that my grandson would try to find a way around the rule.
    I get the picture of a patient Father allowing a rebellious teenager to learn from their mistakes, because really, that’s the ONLY way we learn! (Of course, the rebellious teenager does NOT get that picture!!)

    My grandson thought he was pulling one over on his mom. He thought he was cleverly following her rules while getting around them. What he doesn’t grasp quite yet is that she established those rules because she loves him so much. Ok, yes, maybe she also doesn’t want to deal with his muddy clothes, but mainly the rules are motivated by love.

    Slavery does paint a vivid picture of our relationship with God. True freedom only comes with a price. If we accept that Christ has paid that price for us, then we become slaves to righteousness. If we reject that, we basically become slaves to the behavior that we think will get us what we desire.

    Don’t miss the punch that is packed in John’s last 2 sentences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Man created slavery. God never said it was ok,”

      That’s the point, God never condemned slavery and allowed it to flourish so much that we have a set of rules inspired by God himself on how to punish your slaves. So you are saying God thought that, oh I love the slave owners so much I will not punish them because I should have explicitly outlawed the practice before it started? Did he also have no idea slavery ownership would also become a popular Christian practice?

      I have to admit you have a really creative imagination, however to believe the Biblical stories you need to have one.

      Like

      1. Wally, I believe the stories in the Bible to be mostly concocted from earlier religions and mans imagination, however some of the stories have a certain amount of reality to them. Do you believe them all?

        Like

      2. Lol

        Tell ya what smart guy

        Give me the run down in which are true an which are not

        Story by story

        With references

        You can’t

        You are again just talking smack you cant back up

        You understand very little of what you are so critical of

        U just wanted to see if you had any sense yet

        And you still don’t

        Like

      3. Listen to yourself Wally. You promote so many passages from the Bible and reasons to worship your God without any supporting evidence to qualify them.

        The Bible is not recognised as a history book by leading historians, most of the writers are unverifiable, many of the stories are similar to earlier religious beliefs, many Biblical passages are unclear and translated differently by Christian denominations, and a great deal of the Bible has been rewritten many times with 14,800 differences from the Codex Sinaiticus manuscript (the Sinai Bible) that is the oldest Bible in the world. And even this old 4th century Bible is believed to have been altered from the time of the first written, and it contains some of the early books that are considered to not fit in with today’s Christian doctrine.

        Your doctrine is full of gaping holes and you just ignore them, therefore, what references can I show that you would even read? You are so convinced you have a watertight book of everything that you are having a great holiday believing you are walking in the footsteps of someone who is supposed to be Jesus.

        Like

      4. Great

        Nice sermon

        But since all you were looking for was a chance to paste the exact comment you have posted at least a dozen times at my place you have missed or ignored what this post is even about

        That is my point Steve. You never talk about the post but post your same comments over and over

        You pose and posture as is you are a historian, textual critic and archaeologist all rolled into to one person. You are none of these as your complete ignorance of all of them is obvious.

        I was onky trying to make a point to you but since you insist i reissue my challenge . Meet it or prove forever you are proven to be a fool

        Since you assert that little or none of the Bible is historical i chalkenge you to disprove each story . Proof. Facts.

        And when you get done i will provide you a list of leading historians who actually do believe much if the Bible is history. I will then expect you to prove by accepted academic standards why they are not qualified.

        The i need a point by point parsing from the original language the some 14000 differences from the Codex Sinaitucus you say there are. Finally i need a theological review of the impact of those differences

        You have made just tons of broad sweeping assertions here i suggest you back them up

        Off you go!

        Or skip all that and answer one easy question

        Why is slavery wrong exactly?

        Like

      5. OK that’s easy. Slavery: the state of being a slave, bondage, enslavement, servitude, subjugation, thraldom, thrall, serfdom, vassalage, enthralment, yoke; a condition of having to work very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation. Forced labour, Bonded labour, Child labour, a slave, servant, or captive.

        Quite a bit of info for you to decide right from wrong Wally, I do not like your chances of being allowed to own an atheist slave.

        Slave ownership in the days of your religious icons was the right of the dominant forces to take slaves from those they defeated, if only to induce humiliation and dishonour on their captives or to use them as sexual partners and subjects for abuse.

        Maybe Jesus had a slave and was sold a man’s daughter after all it is obvious family values were non-existent in those times and he obviously did not understand what future morals held. The more I read the passages about slavery the more I cannot understand how anyone can believe Christianity is any better than some of the practices in the Islamic faith, how do you justify yourself?

        Like

      6. Lol

        We aren’t talking about me Steve. I asked YOU the question. I shall try again in the desperate hope that maybe, just maybe, you actually know what yes or no means.

        Like

      7. Lol yeah by people. Great. The question remains. I will type slow. Why is slavery wrong? Hint…because people realized God was wrong is not the answer.

        Why. Is. Slavery. Wrong?

        Like

      8. Because of all the reasons

        Huh?

        If that makes sense to you John Zande I suggest you refrain from the crack smoking

        @Steve. Back to you. Why is slavery wrong

        @John B and Amanda. I may disappear shortly as its almost time to get off the bus. Just so the morons don’t think they chased me away.

        Like

      9. Sigh

        @ Steve

        Your troll king handler says slavery is wrong “because of all the reasons. ”

        Perhaps you know the reasons?

        Y’all atheists sure like checklists

        Like

      10. The morons never REALLY think they chased you away. They’re often able to bait Christians into never-ending backs-and-forths, by playing on their pride and simply CLAIMING “you’re afraid, you’re embarrassed, you’ve been made to look foolish.”

        But, insults (like all jokes) only work when there’s truth in them. The truth is funny. Lies are contrived and boring. Anyone can make stuff up. But not everyone can notice something truthful. That’s why we have unique names and gags for all of our pet Atheists’ special personalities….yet all the Atheist taunting sounds exactly the same. (“You’re indoctrinated! You’re a poo-poo head!”…that kind of thing.) 🙂

        Anyway, don’t sweat dropping out. When you’re done playing, the toys continue making noise in the box for awhile, but they’ll shut themselves off eventually. And they’ll always be there when you’re ready to come back.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Cool

        We are headed to Joppa. See where Peter had his vision before heading down to Cesarean to meet Cornelius

        But that’s all fake huh? Funny to be hearing of all the things that never happened when i am standing on places….where things happened

        Like

      12. I have not but certainly will

        Id like to visit there too but sadly most places down here can’t be visited during a visit to Israel. There ate some getting along problems over here ya know

        Like

      13. I’d heard. They’ve been butchering each other for decades.

        I guess we can add “Jews” and “Muslims” to the Westboro Baptists who are on our “Christian” list. lol. That takes our numbers up a bit.

        NOW I can see what Ark meant by “Christians” constantly going to war…

        Liked by 1 person

      14. HANG ON, JZ! I GOT THIS ONE FOR YA:

        Amanda,
        Every serious archaeologist acknowledges that the Exodus is geopolitical fiction. It never happened. I, John Zande, have copied and pasted an extensive article from dozens of non-scholarly sources. You can read it easily on my blog since it has been there since June of last year and I haven’t written a single new post. I prefer to spend my time writing the same three paragraphs in the comment section of your blog.
        Awkward.

        Like

      15. JZ’s Magnum Opus:

        Copying and pasting half-quotes, most of which were featured in the opening paragraph of a 20-year-old Christianity Today article I found in the archives.

        Like

      16. Lol. Because it is not right? Because we do not condone the suffering of other people? Because we have realised that it is wrong? Because we are now more aware of equality? Because we realised we have a principled responsibility for people rather than profits?

        I just know you like playing this little game with me Wally.

        Like

      17. Basically, the same as many past dehumanising laws and traditions, they are appealed legally and \or socially once the people realise how bad they are. This is a good example of people power at work around the world.

        Liked by 1 person

      18. “So the people with the power make the morals?”

        Wally try reading what I wrote. I did not say anything of the kind. Again, when a dehumanising type of law such as slavery and burning witches is introduced eventually the people of the land wake up and say, “that law is crap” and when there is enough social and political pressure eventually it will be repealed.

        “So why is slavery wrong then if people with the power said it’s cool?”

        At the time slaves were not seen as human and cheap labour creates more profits. What is more, many of the ones making profits were governments and wealthy merchants that the economies relied on and may have had a bearing on why the slave trade lasted so long.

        Good night.

        Liked by 1 person

      19. I do not think slavery was ok any time, however in the beginning of slavery the recognition of coloured people and different races as humans was primitive and they were a source of free labour. Of course, as time moved on money, greed, power, politics and religions were driving forces.

        It was not long ago women were treated differently and were not allowed to vote because they were not seen as equal to men, and again we see how religions and political influences drove this discriminatory belief. The changes have only occurred due to the realisation by the masses that these laws were bad laws.

        Like

      20. So. The masses determine morality. Got it

        Lol. You don’t even see the absurdity of your position

        If “The masses” determine morality then ultimately there IS NO MORALITY

        Why is slavery wrong? Under your theory it is not. You may personally not like it, but it is not objectively wrong .

        Like

      21. There is no stronger power than the people, but times have changed, masses may or may not determine what morality is, however it is less likely these days as the laws now cover equal rights and discrimination etc. The masses had the effect of changing social, political, religious and economic views for good.

        “Absurdity” you call it. The laws regarding slavery and women’s rights was changed by people, therefore was this not Gods will? Doesn’t he control everything in your world and do you believe he and the people are absurd to allow this to happen?

        How can you say there is “NO MORALITY”? Morality is a social behaviour and can be traced to the behaviours of many other social animals. It can be both subjective and objective, it is not static and is often not clear-cut and sometimes adapted to suit a given situation as we have seen in Islamic countries, and we know it can be twisted to suit a person’s intentions.

        You appear to not understand what makes slavery wrong, but the real question you should be asking is, what would make slavery right?

        Like

      22. “It can be both subjective and objective, it is not static and is often not clear-cut and sometimes adapted to suit a given situation as we have seen in Islamic countries, and we know it can be twisted to suit a person’s intentions.”

        You are wrong. It cannot be ‘both subjective and objective’. That is like saying a shape can be ‘both circular and rectangular’.

        You believe morality is subjective. It shifts and changes over time. It is twisted to suit a person’s intentions. Therefore, you cannot raise a reasonable objection to slavery.

        THAT is your position. Continuing to argue with Wally just demonstrates that you don’t understand your own words.

        Like

      23. A shape can change and this is a well debated topic. objective is impartial, unbiased, unprejudiced, and killing someone purposely is against what is a basic objective moral in our society because it is clear-cut as wrong and inhuman unless you have mental problems. However, it may become a subjective moral for an individual if they decide they have a reason to kill someone.

        A person can twist morality, Hitler thought the Germans were the master race and the rest of us were inferior, especially Jews and black people. If you twist morality, slavery may appear to be right for you if you were to elevate yourself into the master race.

        The humans in most first world countries have moved on from ancient historic laws and morals and one of those major modern steps was the abolition of slavery. Human rights has become a major issue and principle of modern times, that is why we have LGBT rights and issues regarding immigration.

        Like

      24. Again.
        Your position is that morality is subjective. Specific moral questions are irrelevant when there is no objective standard.

        I thought you were close when you said, “…killing someone purposely is against what is a basic objective moral in our society because it is clear-cut as wrong …”
        But then you said, “However, it may become a subjective moral for an individual if they decide they have a reason to kill someone.”

        So you are saying the same thing over and over.
        We get it.
        Morality is subjective.

        Like

      25. The objective standard that we should not kill is inherent to us all from day one and we are raised, indoctrinated, have psychological problems or kill in defence of another life are when we become a human killer. What was objective can become subjective only under certain conditions only can it not? I mean we do not just go out and decide to kill a guy because he pisses us off.

        Like

      26. Trouble is you do not get it and probably never will.

        For some issues, such as social mannerisms and traditions may be subjective if learned or gained through personal contacts and social interaction, however, there are people who didn’t have good and loving parents or had no parents and had minimal social interaction and exposure to accessible information who still grew into adults knowing the basics for morality.

        A person can choose not to live or kill another human; but it does not mean that he can choose a standard of value other than life.

        Life is the ultimate standard served by our pursuit of values, therefore, life is our objective standard and we embrace something that has value if it improves or enriches our life. We inherently attempt to always obtain that which increases our chances of survival and happiness.

        Scientists studying animal behaviour believe that species from mice to primates are governed by moral codes of conduct in the same way as humans. Humans were thought to be the only species to experience complex emotional states and have a sense of morality, however different species of animals have an inherent empathy to help other animals in distress. Experiments with rats have shown that they will not take food if they are aware their actions will cause pain to another rat. Chimpanzees are known to protect the weak in their group and punish those who deviate from the code of conduct.

        Like

      27. I do get it.

        What was objective can become subjective only under certain conditions only can it not? However, it may become a subjective moral for an individual if they decide they have a reason to kill someone. A person can twist morality, Hitler thought the Germans were the master race and the rest of us were inferior, especially Jews and black people. We inherently attempt to always obtain that which increases our chances of survival and happiness. And of course, A shape can change and this is a well debated topic.

        Like

      28. ‘What makes slavery right?’

        Hmmm, let’s see. Maybe the slave actually appreciates a job with a roof over his head, eating three meals a day, with an in house doctor, being respected for labor………..as opposed to living under a bridge in a cardboard box, freezing and scavaging for rat food.

        But maybe this life of slavery is not ‘right’ for all. Maybe people enjoy their poverty with lousy masters. Oh wait, there is always government handouts.

        If you were not so shortsighted, you may be not so quick to abrade that which you have not a clue.

        Like

      29. I do not disagree.
        The argument that we are repeatedly called to defend is “How can we say God is ‘Good’ when he allowed slavery?”
        The challenge is trying to explain an objectively moral ‘God’ to people who see morality as subjective. They do NOT seem capable of understanding the concept of ‘Good’ outside of individual acts of morality. They credit ‘societal evolution’ with the abolishment of slavery and cannot grasp that our evolved position regarding slavery isn’t ‘better’ than our old position. It’s just different.

        Like

      30. CS this is fine but this is called an employee in this day and only your God knows what you are talking about. This employee has human rights and cannot be beaten by his boss. On top of this he gets paid what he is due and can afford to buy his own food. What part of the world and what era do you live in? You cannot put this on parallel with the conditions of slaves in the Bible, that would make you clueless.

        Like

      31. So what else is new? In your worldview anybody who takes God’s word seriously is clueless.

        Woe is me. I take God’s word seriously, and since He created humans, I agree with Him as to what He thinks is fine and dandy.

        But who do YOU thank for moonlight………..

        Like

      32. Lol. Actually you are the one who has no reason as to why it is wrong.

        Tildeb is that yuu? Rather than answer the question you inform me my question is wrong

        Lol. I know what i meant to ask tyvm

        Why why oh why is slavery wrong?

        Good grief

        Like

      33. It’s not a stupid question

        I suggest you duck because one of these days as the point of this flies over your head it is going to conk you right in the head

        This is so simple even i get it.

        Like

      34. “Because we realised we have a principled responsibility for people rather than profits? ”

        You are assuming that everyone agrees with you about ‘principled responsibility’. For morality to exist, there must be a ‘principle’ that takes precedent over personal opinion.

        Without a standard, your indignation about slavery is worthless.

        Like

      35. How can it be my personal opinion, when most of society I bet most would agree with people before profits? That is not an assumption but an observation and do not ask me to count those who agree, but I have never heard anyone (even Trump) claim profits before people, even though it does happen. Have you heard of safety first? Same thing that is a principle even though many do not follow that principle. Call it morality if you wish.

        Like

      36. Just because most of society agrees that doesn’t make something ‘morally correct’. Most of the people in the southern states agreed that slavery should continue.

        Like

      37. Well obvious is it not? When you have been swimming in profits from cheap slave labour for decades and you have an ancient manuscript that allows the ownership of slaves, (also rammed down the throats of the slaves) what would you vote for?

        Good Night, it is after midnight in Aus.

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      38. Steve

        I am not playing a game with you. I am asking a question. The problem is that you have no method with which to answer the question.

        I am not playing with you.

        Like

      39. JB–
        I’m thinking you need to write “Let’s Enslave the Heathen Part 2,” featuring the comments where the Heathen try to beg for their freedom and convince you of their human worth, without appealing to the Bible.

        It seems a lot of them dislike the idea of being slaves. And not one of them has been able to explain why you shouldn’t. 🙂

        Like

  8. Mrsmcmommy: You asked awhile ago for thoughts on God changing his mind. I sometimes think the Bible is mostly a history book telling us what God has done. One of his tasks had been to grow a culture. Like kids growing up, we have rules for young ones and as they mature the rules “evolve”. Parents aren’t changing their minds per se they’re growing their kids. I think some of what God is doing and has done can be seen like that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s exactly the analogy I used earlier. 🙂

      I agree. God’s nature hasn’t changed. (But sometimes, the specific “rules” might.) This tends to bother people who want God-in-a-box… and who want a flow-chart version of morality, to beat others over the head with.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. “5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

    9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.”
    (Ephesians 6:5-9)

    Anybody want to take a crack at the difference between “allowing to happen” and “giving approval”?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “20”If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. 21″If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property” Exodus 21:20-21

      Anyone what to examine the passage above “giving approval” for owning people as property and “allowing” vicious beatings to happen to said clearly-approved property?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sure Violet ( Okay, sidenote your name makes me think of two things: first Violet from The Incredibles, and the wisps from Brave. Just how my mind works. So I kinda love your username for those two bizarre reasons).

        First, how should people treat their property?

        Like

      2. Sure Matthew Cross (sidenote, where are you from?), I think people should be encouraged to think it’s fine to beat up their human property as long as they don’t kill them. You agree with your god’s rules too?

        Like

      3. I’m from the northeastern section of Ohio. (In case there is another “Ohio” out there, I’ll specify that I’m speaking about the state in the United States of America.) Big fan of Pixar movies here.
        Now, I’ve answered one of your questions- but I sense that you may have missed the meaning of mine.
        The scripture of Ephesians that got this whole thing started shows of what “slavery” God approves of.
        Does God say “Masters, beat your slaves to the brink of death”? No, he does not. Beating people to the brink of death was not encouraged by Him.
        So, your problem ( I’m assuming that you were being sarcastic with your response), isn’t with God’s rules, it’s with your interpretation of them.

        I’m in full agreement with this: ““‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

        Like

  10. “Demonstrate how without sin, there would still exist bad and immoral and unethical behavior.
    (This will prove quite impossible.)”
    I agree this is impossible for anyone who applies a religious lens. For the rest of us, it’s simply a case of measuring harmful outcomes based on our naturally evolved empathy (understanding and caring about other people’s suffering) mixed with, among other things, the logic of the Golden Rule, the observation of which ensures a more pleasant society for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Golden Rule isn’t logical. It’s transcendental.

      You recognize that societies tend to bow to the wisdom of the Golden Rule, but you won’t acknowledge that it take religious faith that it’s “right.”

      Like

      1. Haha, transcendental indeed! It’s logic pure and simple. Our most basic instinct is quite selfish ‘me’ in terms of hunger etc but when we learn to share, we reap the rewards of co-operation. And empathy makes it feel good!

        Like

      2. But, when it DOESN’T feel good, and when slavery DOES, you still maintain that it’s wrong.

        We’ve been through this.

        You believe selfishness would be wrong and empathy would be right, no matter what.

        Like

      3. There’s no absolute right and wrong, unfortunately for all of us. We can only attempt to pursue the path of least harm. Can you tell me if you had had the opportunity would you have murdered Hitler? Would that be the ‘right’ thing to do? So many people would have been saved from suffering,. Or maybe someone worse would have risen in his stead. Or maybe because of his vile actions, human society has become more thoughtful about our actions towards each other.

        The fact is that ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ is nowhere near as simplistic as some Christians would like to believe. But we can still try our best.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. “There is no absolute right and wrong, unfortunately, for all of us… We can only pretend that pursuing the path of least harm is objectively right.”

        There.

        I fixed it for you.

        Like

      5. That’s nice. Altering people’s comments so they make sense to your agenda is always a smart way to have a discussion.

        You tell me what you think about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and I’ll return the favour. 🙂

        Like

      6. I believe right and wrong are objective. Even if EVERYONE was a sociopathic killer…even if we evolve AWAY from kindness (and into selfishness), we will all be wrong.

        Morality is objectively correct.

        But, I’ll be honest, I’m not really interested in having this conversation with you (again). Go ahead and talk to Matthew. Maybe he’ll have better luck showing you the problem with saying there’s no objective right/wrong.

        Like

      7. I’m more than happy to go away – I get these instructions every time the conversation doesn’t go where the blog hosts here attempt to lead them. Curious.

        But before I go, I’ll have a stab at altering your comment. 🙂

        “I believe AND INVISIBLE FORCE MAGICALLY MADE right and wrong”. Kind of weird, seeing as this would require the magic force to evaluate the infinite outcomes of every single act, not based on the simplicity of the act itself, but then the magic force issues simplistic rules. DON’T STEAL – let your children starve to death. DON’T KEEP SLAVES – unless I tell you it’s okay to beat them etc. Oh yes, objective rights and wrongs, can’t beat them!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I have no idea what you’re rambling about. (I notice I get accused of “trying to lead a conversation” whenever the conversation doesn’t go where guests are trying to lead it.)

        But one quick correction: I didn’t tell you to go away. I said I wasn’t interested in repeating myself (again) today, and encouraged you to talk with Matthew.

        Have a great day, reducing harm! That’s the objectively right thing to do! (Seriously.) 🙂

        Like

  11. If God called Moses today, the List of Laws he received would look different, because humanity itself looks different…

    In fact, the modern name of Moses might be something like “Roy Wood Sellars and Raymond Bragg.” (Authors of Humanist Manifesto I)

    Then there’s the Humanist Manifesto II, as written by Paul Kurtz and Edwin H Wilson. We might call that “The New Testament.”

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

    Like

    1. “The battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: A religion of humanity — utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to carry humanist values into wherever they teach. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new — the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.” – John J. Dunphy, Humanist Manifesto

      Like

      1. I reckon the easier version is to include on every school curriculum religious education: teaching learners about all ( or as many as possible) of the world’s religions.
        If this became mandatory there is every likelihood that no matter what was taught at home – I acknowledge there will always be exceptions – children would soon have a far broader knowledge and understanding of the religions of the world, would become politically savvy at a much earlier age, and come to realise that the many exclusive claims each religion makes are, in many cases, not exclusive at all, and not that special.

        Religion would be viewed as simply another part of culture and not something attached to a reward and punishment system that must be followed …. or else!

        As we move toward greater multiculturalism such an approach at school level will not only teach children to respect and accept others from different religious and cultural backgrounds, not falling foul of the prejudice of adults and especially their parents.

        It isn’t difficult to do, it simply requires a willingness to promote it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Including religious education in every school curriculum also takes self-control to not scream “indoctrination” (or the F-word) whenever you hear a Christian talking…

        Most Christians I know would cooperate with your plan. They believe that education is RIGHT, because there is such thing as right/wrong.

        If only irrational New Atheists didn’t keep insisting that their version of “indoctrination” is the only “right” (godless) version. It would be easier to work together that way.

        Like

      3. You see, straight away you try to find fault, which shows how worried you would be if this were put in place.

        Why would you automatically assume there would be any indoctrination?

        The state simply employs the best secular teachers to teach about the world religions, as they would teach abut Geography or Math.

        The question I might ask is this: would you feel comfortable allowing your children to learn all about the religions of the world?

        Like

      4. You are going of the rails yet again.
        I was simply responding to your dad’s Humanist quote.
        Teach children about world religions and within a few years the religious stranglehold that exists in certain societies will lessen.
        I acknowledge it is well nigh impossible to govern what kids are subject to at home with regard religion but school is a different matter altogether.
        So we are clear,you support such an initiative?
        Is it happening anywhere in the States, do you know?

        Like

      5. Yes! We are all in favor of teaching kids everything about all religions!

        AND we should teach kids that there is no such thing as sin! We should teach, instead about morality. Please finish this sentence.

        ‘Morality’ is…

        Like

      6. Yes! We are all in favor of teaching kids everything about all religions!

        Excellent. That’s a positive move.I applaud your honesty.
        As you have grand-kids, and therefore are still involved with young children as it were, what sort of set up/curriculum would you feel would be the most neutral way to approach this?
        What would you think should be on the curriculum and at what age would you reckon would be a good time to start?

        Do you accept Augustine’s explanation of the christian definition of sin, by the way?
        You didn’t say, and if you want me to have a crack at your questions I want to make sure you’re okay with it?

        Like

      7. Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!!
        I actually DID accept Augustine’s explanation! I even conceded that it is very silly! Outrageously dim-witted! The foolishness of indoctrinated religious people makes me LOL! Utter rubbish!

        Now…I’m eager to hear how morality and ethics still exist now that we don’t believe sin exists.

        Like

      8. Are you writing this while having sex, JB?
        Or are you simply having sex of the sort that allows you at least one free hand to type?
        Because you still sound as if you are dribbling…

        Like

      9. …the classical definition of St. Augustine of Hippo sin is
        “a word, deed, or desire in opposition to the eternal law of God.”

        Sorry, forgot to ask, can you tell me what exactly is the eternal law of Yahweh, please JB?

        Like

      10. Of course I will! I gave you my word. But I don’t want this to end up another bizillion comment thread simply because we don’t agree on terms and you go and move the goalposts AND nick the frigging ball!

        How difficult is it for you to tell me what this eternal law is? You should know it off pat, for goodness sake, you’re a fundamentalist.

        Like

      11. Dad said we weren’t allowed to state evolution, if I recall.
        Are you aware of Yahweh’s eternal rule?
        If so, tell me. It’ll save wading through tons of stuff on the internet.
        For the benefit of this exercise I’ll accept what you say it is providing you are not obviously winding me up.

        Like

      12. I linked you to the post where my dad defined sin.

        Dad said you can use Augustine’s definition, if you want.

        I have no idea why you’re STILL asking more questions. Oh wait, yes I do. You’re stalling.

        And now, you’re being cut off again. It was much nicer around here this morning, when we were talking to some “fresh faces” for a change and completely ignoring you.

        Goodbye.

        Like

      13. You gave your word that you’d answer it after I agreed to Augustine’s definition of sin.
        You don’t need my definition of God’s eternal law in order to give me your definition of morality.
        Just like you don’t need my recipe for chocolate cake in order to give me your recipe for stuffing.

        I am not a fundamentalist.
        You are a fundamentalist.
        A liar.
        And a coward.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Well Augustine states its in accordance with Yahweh’s eternal law so I want to make sure I get it right and you don’t move the goalposts as you usually do and fire back some of your usual nonsense .
        And I will give answer … I do not lie as I am not a Christian. But I want to write it out correctly so it’ll have to be tomorrow as it is 12:20 down here and I am off to bed in a few moments.

        Like

      15. HahahahahahahahaaahahahahahahHahahahahahahahaaahahahahahahHahahahahahahahaaahahahahahahHahahahahahahahaaahahahahahahHahahahahahahahaaahahahahahahHahahahahahahahaaahahahahahahHahahahahahahahaaahahahahahahHahahahahahahahaaahahahahahahHahahahahahahahaaahahahahahahHahahahahahahahaaahahahahahah

        Like

      16. Here we go ….

        Re:

        Demonstrate how without sin, there would still exist bad and immoral and unethical behavior.

        I must admit, this has been giving me some trouble, and answering your question has become quite difficult. But I haven’t given up, as I did give my word and after allit was me who asked if we could use Augustine’s definition, to which you agreed –thanks for that.
        Okay, here it is.

        First, Augustine was effectively a Catholic, and although the Roman Catholics basically invented your religion, or at least laid out the basic doctrine and dogma, and decided what was to go into the first bible, you are a Protestant, and you do not believe in works and grace but rather grace alone. So someone like Bundy, on his death bed, could claim he now believed in Jesus as the creator of the universe etc etc and he would basically be forgiven and granted access to heaven, whereas me, a staunch atheist, who has pretty much been an ordinary regular sort of bloke with very few black marks against my name, will burn in hell, literal or metaphorical.
        Technically this shouldn’t make any real difference but it does tend to highlight that we are already encountering differences of opinion regarding your religion. Put it down to interpretation. The great smorgasbord of god belief!
        Then I remembered that it was Augustine who developed the doctrine of Original Sin and it was this that he based the above upon.
        Now, we know of course that Original Sin … what we all supposedly inherited from Adam is utter nonsense, simply bronze-age fiction. And we know this not least because of Francis Collins and the pioneering work he led on the Human Genome Project which demonstrated unequivocally that there never was a single, original couple as per the bible tale.
        This of course throws the entire nature of the Sin Doctrine into a quandary and now requires some very creative theology to make all the pieces fit.
        But let’s not chuck in the towel, just yet.
        I next looked up the ‘’Eternal Law of God’’ – the god in question being Yahweh of course.
        This comes in two parts, and it is the second part that is the major problem as it all hinges on the Supernatural.
        So now we are basically buggered as there’s no way we can demonstrate any veracity attached to any supernatural claim. This, very much like the acceptance of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, is simply a faith claim with no verifiable evidence whatsoever.
        I even looked to see if I could find any reference to this Eternal Law in the bible and effectively drew a blank, which strengthens the case that it is all a man-made concept. Of course we could be referring to the Ten Commandments,but we already know that these were simply adaptions of other similar legal codes – The Code of Hammurabi comes to mind, so no help there.
        What I am now forced to ask you to do, Branyan, is please, let’s drop the whole Augustine thing and you simply tell me what your definition of ‘’sin’’ is and I’ll have a crack at your question.
        Sorry about that.

        Like

      17. We know how he is. Look at the appalling way he treated Allallt.
        I don’t want to go to the trouble of doing a post long comment and then have him behave like a Right Royal Twat and tap dance with one of his typical disgusting witless pieces of Fundamentalist repartee.

        Liked by 1 person

      18. BWAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA
        You ridiculous, useless, bag of wind!

        The question I asked you at the beginning of the day was:
        “Demonstrate how without sin, there would still exist bad and immoral and unethical behavior.”

        You have not answered it.
        Ark has not answered it.

        HAHAH…and now…HAHAHAHAHAHA…you’re giving me a hard time….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH..for not telling you about the eternal law…HAHAHAHAHHBWHAAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAHAHAHA

        Liked by 1 person

      19. If you had told me earlier today, “You’re going to ask the Atheists about their source of morality over and over and over, and all JZ will do is post more Trump memes,” I might not have believed you.

        Like

      20. He’s not thinking… he’s just furiously trying to distract from the question at hand.

        HEY, ATHEISTS–IS IT WRONG TO GRAB WOMEN BY THE PUSSY? OR IS THAT JUST A SOCIETAL OPINION, kind of like most American kids prefer Pepperoni pizza?

        Like

      21. Yes.
        You evaded. I agree.

        You said,
        “True, the word “sin” would be meaningless. It’s just a word, after all, contained in a narrative from which it gains its meaning. It’s circular. Without that narrative, there would, of course, still exist bad and imoral and unethical behaviour;”

        I said that’s false.
        Then I asked you to explain how there is still immorality without ‘sin’.
        You have not done so.

        Your statement is false unless you care to explain how objective morality can exist without ‘sin’.

        But you’re too stupid to understand this…

        Like

      22. It is false because without objective morality (which is ‘sin’) then immorality and unethical behavior is subjective. It is a matter of personal opinion.
        There. I’ve “explkained” it.

        NOW you can falsify it.

        Like

      23. No, you’ve made a statement that is neither supported by your holy book, or by human history.

        My apologies, but your opinion holds no bearing on reality.

        You’re even contradicting yourself. Again.

        So, falsified.

        Thanks for playing.

        Like

      24. BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

        My opinions hold no bearing on reality but yours do!!

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA
        Do you really believe you are winning here?

        BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA

        Like

      25. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        My god doesn’t exist, remember? He’s a man-made construct! The Bible is a work of fiction. Sin doesn’t exist.

        So there is nothing morally wrong with slavery!

        BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA
        You’re flaming out! I’m embarrassed for you, yet I’m enjoying watching you immolate your insipid worldview.

        Like

      26. Okay, thank you.

        So, you’ve falsified your statement regarding some objective moral truth.

        If your god can change its mind, as you say it does, regularly, then it is evolving, learning, perhaps even improving.

        Like

      27. Okay, thank you.
        So, you’ve falsified your statement regarding YhWH being nothing but a man made construct.
        If my god can change its mind, it must have a mind to change.
        We can have a conversation about whether or not god can evolve, learn or improve.

        Like

      28. It’s only 8:45 in Brazil’s federal district. So, it’s 9:45 if JZ lives in the latest timezone.

        If JZ were REALLY dedicated (like Ark) he would stay up until 2:00am saying nothing instead of stopping the “nothing-saying” so early.

        Like

      29. PLEASE, Dad. Just click “like” on the Windbag’s “evasion.”

        (Yes…that awkward moment where your “evasion” is to say the word “evasion” over and over… That awkward moment when the lyrics to your “song” are “song and dance, song and dance, lalalalala”)

        Just click LIKE and put the old man out of his misery, JB!

        Like

      30. We’re 200 comments in. Nobody is reading anymore except for the people who already understand what’s going on. I want to see what he does when I throw ol’ YhWH under the bus.

        Like

      31. Repeat himself over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…

        Like

      32. Silly JB:

        When YOU present a logical equation (like either the Universe was intended or it wasn’t), then you have to demonstrate that it’s true.

        When THEY make a statement (like bad and immoral and unethical behavior would still exist, without the sin narrative), then you have to demonstrate that it’s false.

        Your job is to do all the thinking and demonstrating, all the time, whether you’re taking the positive or negative stance. Glad I could clear that up.

        Like

      33. Honestly?.. Not fully. I’d have to plow through websites I expect to ensure there was no misunderstanding; that it wasn’t open to interpretation.
        And if it is ( probably is) then I want to know Branyan’s understanding falls in line with general theological principles)

        This was why I want him to be explicit.

        Liked by 1 person

      34. and…
        HAHAHAHAHahhahahahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHahhahahahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHahhahahahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHahhahahahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHahhahahahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHahhahahahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHahhahahahahahahahahhahaHAHAHAHAHahhahahahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHahhahahahahahahahah

        Like

      35. Conversation about whether I’d “allow” Wally to “lie” to my kids: https://branyancomedy.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/why-bad-things-happen-to-good-folks/comment-page-1/#comment-12591

        (My answer was yes.)

        Conversation about what sort of “curriculum” I would “outline” for “Creationism:” https://branyancomedy.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/peace-on-earth-if-i-say-so/comment-page-1/#comment-9868

        (My answer: I ask questions.)

        Yes, there are private and charter schools which invite various speakers to share their beliefs. Many public schools are being prevented from doing this, though, because the New Atheist dogma says that there must be a “separation of Church and State,” and they claim that having a Hindu teach children about Hinduism, for example, is brainwashing and wrong.

        At my school, however, we got to hear from a Muslim, a Buddhist, and an Atheist (who just stood at the front of the class, holding a sign that says “void.”) I’m kidding! I’m kidding! He was a Secular Humanist, so he spent all his time saying spiritual things, without actually saying the words “God” or “Faith.”

        We also had a project once, in which we were assigned different “beliefs.” (like Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, etc.) And then we were told to research them in preparation for a debate. I also participated in a debate once, in which I argued FOR abortion, to challenge myself…

        But, at the end of the day, I found the “Humanist” replacement for traditional religion had holes in it. I’m glad I was exposed to a wide range of beliefs, and I’m STILL addicted to hearing other perspectives… that’s why waiting for you to answer one, fricken question is growing boring.

        Please (please?) stop wasting all of our time?

        Like

      36. Not wasting anyone’s time.

        So, re: the religious education thing.
        This sounds more like a project or once off sort of thing.
        We had R.E. at school (Christian , obviously)
        I am suggesting teaching about world religions is made part of full-time school curriculum.
        Is it?

        Like

      37. I read some of it and it seems they object to the fact Christianity is in some schools and appears to be the basis of ethics and morality , having stuff read from the bible and having monuments with the ten commandments, Things lie this.
        Of course anyone should object to this type of shit as it is garbage.

        I mean have it taught simply like any other lesson. No insidious indoctrination type crap that fundamentalist religions teach their kids.
        Just as a plain simple lesson.

        Are you in favour of such an initiative?

        Like

      38. “Of course, anyone should object to this type of shit as it is garbage.”

        Excellent! Thanks for your opinion. And that’s precisely the type of opinion I would allow you to speak at the front of a classroom! Likewise, anyone else can share their opinions at the front of a classroom, too. Open forum. No censorship.

        But, of course, this is a problem for the Naturalist/Humanist/Atheist/Whatever-you-Want-to-Call-Yourselves… because you can’t explain WHY you believe what you do, even when given chance after chance after chance after chance. All you have is accusations of “shit” and “garbage” and (oh yeah) “INSIDIOUS INDOCTRINATION.”

        If the average highschooler could read the debates we’ve had over the last few months, Atheism would die. They would LAUGH, along with me, that you’re still pissing around instead of answering the question HOW CAN YOU BE OBJETIVELY OPPOSED TO SLAVERY???

        You won’t.

        Because you can’t.

        Like

      39. The screen shots! Classic!
        “I promise to answer your question, just tell me the Christian definition of sin.”
        “Now tell me God’s eternal law.”
        “I’m tired and need to go to bed.”

        LOLOLOL!
        I’m so glad God sent Ark to us!

        Liked by 1 person

      40. I’m liking all of his comments now.

        So, to recap, I will “like” whenever Ark dances, and I will “LOL” whenever JZ does.

        I’m soooo sick of the repetition.

        At least Allallt is attempting answers for you, even though they’re not consistent.

        Like

      41. All kidding aside…I can’t wait to put those quotes up on the screen!

        Then I’ll say to the class, “This is the best atheism has to offer! Be not afraid, Children. Be not afraid!”

        Like

      42. And should Atheists and Catholics and Muslims and Hindus be allowed to speak in classrooms?

        Yes!

        Resounding YES!

        Comparative religions, where everyone can give their best arguments and explanations are GREAT… for this very reason…

        Like

      43. Amen!
        Throw the atheists up in front of the kiddies! The kiddies will ask, “If there is no God, why do I have to be good?”

        And the atheists will say, “I would answer that, but I need to go to sleep now.”

        Liked by 1 person

      44. I don’t need to explain. I am talking about presenting lessons from a cultural perspective of all the world’s (major) religions in the same way one would present a geography lesson or a sociology class, or any other topic.
        No dogma.

        Are you in favour of such an initiative, Amanda?

        Liked by 1 person

      45. When you get a chance, remind Dig-Dug that he’s forgotten to answer the question posed. I’m done with him.

        He might find it easier to couch it in St. Augustine’s format (which he supplied to me on promise that he would then answer it from an atheist perspective).

        Augustine of Hippo sin is “a word, deed, or desire in opposition to the eternal law of God.”

        So replacing the word sin with ‘morality’, what does the quote look like for an atheist.

        BWAAAAHHAHAHAAHA
        …sorry…I just thought about Ark actually answering this question. LOL

        Like

    1. The ONLY thing I can think of is that they post pictures and ask the same (stalling) questions over and over, to try and pad the thread and bury the ridiculous “evasion. evasion. evasion” that THEY’RE doing…

      Do they email each other privately, like, “Crap, I looked pretty stupid at John’s place right now…” ?

      “Quick! Let’s flood that comment section with accusations and random, off-topic memes! If we’re lucky, no one will read enough to know what really happened.”

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Okay, I haven’t read all the comments because I don’t have time at the moment, so I don’t know if this has already been brought up and thought I’d throw it out there. But there’s a huge difference in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and it isn’t God, it’s His goals. In the OT He is setting up a government and in the NT He is setting up the church. The government aka Israel/Judah aka Mosaic law was meant to be temporary and specifically telling His people how to live in this imperfect world filled with imperfect people.

    The church is an eternal body meant to prepare us for eventually dwelling with God in a perfect world (Heaven) once this life ends. So the OT is primarily laws to govern the physical life and the NT is primarily laws to govern the spiritual life.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the thoughts, Whitney.

      You’ll hear some of this on the podcast next week (or maybe the week after that). But, we recorded it today!

      The analogy I’ve used is that God–the parent–was dealing with primitive, childlike humanity 3000 years ago. He has been trying to move us closer to him the whole time. But it has to be gradual…it’s an evolution…

      Right now, I allow my children to poo in their pants and lick windows, etc. (I mean, I try to encourage them not to, but I tolerate when they do those things.) As they get older, though, they are without excuse.

      I love this chunk of Acts:

      So Paul stood in the midst of the [place where philosophers debated] and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things… that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist…Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent.

      There was a time where God overlooked ignorance. But NOW, men are without excuse. We’ve grown up (evolved). Or, we’re supposed to have.

      Like

      1. I’ve always seen the context of Acts 17:22-31 as speaking of the gentiles and the “ignorance” Paul spoke of as being the nations God did not speak to during Old Testament times. We know He spoke to some folks outside of Israel, examples being Nineveh, Melchizedek, etc. but there were many nations who didn’t know God because the generations failed to teach their children about Him. I always assumed this is the ignorance Paul is talking about, particularly since in this context he’s speaking to gentiles who would be descendants of these nations rather than Israel. But now God is declaring Himself to all nations, not just the Jews. At least, that’s what I take “the times of ignorance” to mean.

        Like

      2. mrsmcmommy,

        God works through progressive revelation. All of the Old Testament is a foreshadowing of Jesus and our salvation. Well, like 95% of the Old Testament, at least.

        Had Adam and Eve not sinned, Scripture would pretty much be Genesis 1-2. Genesis 3 chronicles the Fall, and right from there, God promises the Seed of the woman who would crush Satan. Bible college degree nerds like me (I have a B.A. in Biblical Studies… not sure that I ever mentioned that before) call Genesis 3:15 the protoevangelion. The future Messiah is already hinted at there.

        As the O.T. goes on, more info is given over time, with the chronicles of the Patriarchs as pictures of Christ to come. When we get to the Prophets, especially Isaiah, then we hit the big leagues of revelation of the coming Promised One.

        When Jesus came, He began to lay it all out plainly. The rest of the New Testament puts a bow on it.

        At least until we come to Revelation. Then again we get hints at the final fulfillment of God’s ultimate plan.

        When I was in Bible College, I was always asked by my peers if I was either dispensational or covenantal in my view of Scripture. At the time, having become familiar with both, I would reply that I have the Cone Theory of Scripture. After a few quizzical looks, I said that I think of God’s dealing with humanity and His revelation to us like a cone. It is little at the beginning, and gets wider as it goes. Genesis is the beginning of the cone-shape. Little stuff at first. Then, the rest of Scripture fleshes out what Genesis has revealed, filling in the details along the way.

        Nowadays, after a couple of decades since Bible college, I still hold to the Cone Theory, but also see that the Covenantal view fits perfectly with it.

        A couple of short You Tube videos for your perusal:

        And a long one that is worth the time:

        Dave

        Luke 24:27 (ESV) – And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. I don’t want this to end up another bizillion comment thread simply because we don’t agree on terms and you go and move the goalposts.

    A bazillion comment thread is exactly what happens when someone keeps stealing the goalposts because the other team is about to score.

    Like

  14. Hey JB!

    This seems like a lot of extra work to ask JZ for a foot rub. Most people wouldn’t gloat over their religion’s history of owning people as property just to do that. I’m pretty sure if you asked him nicely, he’d give you a straight answer.

    How have you been, by the way?

    Like

      1. Sorry, I was confused by you taking the time to update your post to tell everyone about an oddly specific fantasy of yours.

        I love your post, too. Nothing screams objective morality like reminding everyone your unfaltering deity changed its mind about owning people as property. Maybe another version can become incarnate and change the no mixed fabrics rule?

        Like

      2. Thanks for reading.
        You’ll really like tomorrow’s post.
        It’s about how my unfaltering deity frequently changes his mind.
        You can comment there and demonstrate again that you don’t understand what you’re talking about.

        Like

      3. Exactly.
        God changes His mind.
        The post is not about foot rubs. That comment was just an attempt to get a laugh from JZ and Ark. I hope it worked! It’s important that you have affirmation from the atheist brain trust.

        Like

      4. Great! I’m glad you cleared up the fact that you have a subjective morality based on the whims of an invisible entity. You’ve definitely showed us heathens why your subjective morality is better than every other subjective morality!

        Like

      5. Great! I’m glad you cleared up the fact that you are not above assigning me a position on morality based on a completely unrelated topic. You’ve definitely showed me that I was correct when I said you don’t know what you’re talking about!

        Like

      6. Completely unrelated topic? How is your deity’s changing position on slavery unrelated to your post?

        To be clear, you’re selling me on this new belief system you’ve created. It’s tough work advertising a deity that’s unwavering in its love for humanity; having one that changes its mind is way better. The only thing you need now is that Bible verse where Jesus specifically prohibited slavery!

        Like

      7. Ask an adult to explain satire to you.
        Read my post with your new understanding of satire.
        Ask yourself this question, “If morality is subjective, why do I have a problem with slavery?”

        Then get back with me.
        (Hint: If you’re smarter than the other atheists, you won’t mock me for believing that God changed his mind.)

        Like

      8. Don’t claim the protections of satire and then complain when it gets used against you down in your comments section. I’m not mocking you for your beliefs; I am using sarcasm to illustrate problems with the position you took in your post. Thankfully CS has finally provided a different Christian perspective to what you wrote: “Of course He is perfect, and unchanging.”

        Call me whatever names you like, spin it however you want, but the fact of the matter is that not every follower of Jesus is singing from the same hymnal.

        Like

      9. There’s no disagreement with C.S.
        God has always been a being who changes his mind when he deals with humans.

        (How about “Herman.” Can I call you Herman?)

        Like

      10. Thank you for your opinion.

        Now, to the question:
        “If morality is subjective, how do you condemn slavery as immoral?”

        (HINT: Your godless mentors were asked this question and refused to answer it. I suggest you squelch your youthful optimism that you’re capable of answering this question and back away slowly.)

        Like

      11. Well well, look who showed up, that old soft skinned easily insulted seriusbidness..

        Guess what? Since last you appeared, God’s word has not changed one bit, has not lost none of its lustre, and has slayed every gripe against it. As a matter of fact, it is settled forever, in spite of all the bitchin by miscreants.

        Yes indeed, His word is that good. In addition, He is still delivering any willing heart from darkness to light, and still exposing pretended light as pure darkness.

        Like

      12. That’s great to hear! Except my worry now is that what if your deity changes its mind in the future? JB showed above in his post that it can happen. I used to think that the concept of the Christian deity was a perfect entity that declared truth from the beginning of time, but the changing position on at least one subject kind of has me worried.

        Like

      13. Of course He is perfect, and unchanging.

        And in His unchanging illustrious ways, is His knowledge of past, present, and future.

        There are no surprises with God, as He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

        But ah, how his manner of dealing with people is quite interesting, from law to grace for example.

        Yep, that old devil LAW, magnifies sin, and gives wings to the grace of God.

        There are no contradictions with God, it is we the people who have chastised Him for our lazy reading and poor understanding.

        Like

      14. The poor lad thinks you and I are at odds, CS.
        His words, “…not every follower of Jesus is singing from the same hymnal.”
        Should we tell him the body of Christ has multiple hymnals each adding unique harmony to God’s eternal song or do you think that’s too deep?

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Hey there JB!

    Here’s a reprint of a question you wanted me to answer:

    “If morality is subjective, how do you condemn slavery as immoral?”

    The answer is that it would take having a personal moral belief that owning human beings as property is not moral. Slavery would be immoral according to anyone who has that belief.

    Like

    1. Yes.
      That is the very definition of subjectivity.
      So your personal belief is that slavery is wrong. That is, of course, at odds with the slave owners personal belief.

      And there is no good reason to choose your belief system over that of the slave owner’s.

      Like

      1. Exactly! There’s no invisible force which elevates one moral value over another. It takes hard work to get people to share moral values and act in accordance with them. Without that hard work, people might believe anything is moral.

        Like

      2. “Without that hard work, people might believe anything is moral.”

        Umm. That is exactly what subjective morality means!
        Without that ‘invisible force which elevates one moral value over another’ then all morality is equally true.
        This is precisely the conversation.
        Did you just now realize what I’ve been asking you?

        Like

      3. Actually, I kind of set you up so you’d mention something about your invisible force. Thanks for obliging!

        What I’m saying on this point is that subjective morality still lets me disagree with another person’s moral values. Just because someone holds a different moral value does not mean I have to act in accordance with it.

        In fact, I think that does bear out under the facts of how slavery was abolished here in the States. It wasn’t some magical shift in opinion where everyone miraculously agreed; our nation practically ripped itself apart on whether slavery could be practiced or not. It took losing a war for part of this country to concede the point and stop encouraging people to own other humans as property.

        Of course, you can look at it as being driven by an invisible hand that moved people towards not being okay with slavery. That’s fine; I don’t have the inclination to stop you. I simply just don’t share your perspective.

        Like

      4. Actually, you kind of set yourself up and you are still too muddled to realize it.

        “…subjective morality still lets me disagree with another person’s moral values.”
        Yes. I know that.
        But subjective morality means NEITHER ONE OF YOU is correct.

        If the South had won the war and slavery had persisted, then slavery would be morally correct. You have NO BASIS for condemning slavery.

        THAT, again, is the reason I asked the question in the first place.

        Your answer to the question, “Why are you condemning slavery” is:

        Because the South lost the civil war.

        That’s fine; I don’t have the inclination to stop you. I simply just don’t share your perspective.

        Like

      5. Well, JB, I don’t personally think slavery is immoral simply because the Confederacy lost the Civil War; I do think the presence of a Civil War indicates there’s no invisible force guiding morality. So, you’re misstating my position and arguing against that.

        Like

      6. Well, Sirius, then what is your personal reason for thinking slavery is immoral? (Again, this is the original question.)

        And if the war has nothing to do with your morality, there is no reason to drag the thread off topic by talking about it…

        Like

      7. He ‘set me up’. Clever rogue!

        Then he sprung his trap! Turns out that subjective morality means he can treat other people’s morality as subjective! Whew! I sure fell for that one!

        Then, he pounded his point home by talking about the Civil War. Can’t argue with that!

        Now I’m on pins and needles waiting for his ‘personal belief’ about the morality of slavery that I’m sure will have nothing at all to do with the ‘invisible force’ of his conscience.

        Like

      8. Let me explain: only Atheists are allowed to mock others for “invisible forces” and “magic.”

        When you point out that they do the same thing, you’re waaaaay out of bounds. 🙂

        Like

      9. Prediction:

        Sirius’ next reply will be another explanation on the meaning of subjectivity.
        OR He will simply disappear and lament on his blog about how Christians never engage him honestly.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Dad, meet sklyjd (whom Wally called “Steve”). It’s my fault he’s here. I went back and forth with him on Culture’s at War and finally told him to read the comments here. Apparently he thought I said, “LEAVE a comment here.” 🙂

        My theory: that link to Psychology today is a page from his holy book. The Slave Class will carry it into battle when they war against their oppressive masters, to tell themselves GOD SCIENCE SAYS THAT SLAVERY IS WRONG!

        Like

      2. I skimmed it.
        More subjective morality stuff.
        The argument here is about the futility of subjective morality. The atheist response is always a definition of subjective morality. It’s like they don’t even understand the problem.

        Sirius has explained subjective morality three times to me now. And he believes that addresses the problem! (He also thinks I’m ‘trolling’ when I ask the question.)

        Like

  16. CS

    “But who do YOU thank for moonlight………..”

    Nobody!

    Moonlight comes from the moon and is a natural phenomenon within our own solar system, nobody made the moon or any other planet just because it is written in an ancient book. Come on, really? Pull the other one.

    Like

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