Let’s Enslave Anyone Who Can’t Answer

I suggested that since pagans have no fixed standard of morality, we could enslave them.

Pagans can’t give a reason why slavery is absolutely wrong.

Though some heathen objected to being enslaved. (I suspected they might.)

3.8.17 Heathen Arguing Against Slavery (JZ #1).png

But they struggled to answer the question, “Why is slavery wrong?”

3.8.17 Heathen Arguing Against Slavery (FictionSpawn #1).png

Empathy is not equally present in all human beings.

Some empathize with plantation owners who need slave labor to produce their crops.

3.8.17 Heathen Arguing Against Slavery (sklyjd #1).png

Four paragraphs contain no answer to that ‘easy’ question.

Of course, maybe Jesus owned slaves.

But if that’s true, then Jesus won’t mind me enslaving pagans!

3.8.17 Heathen Arguing Against Slavery (Violet #1).png

Empathy again.

And then a heathen appeals to religion in the Golden Rule.

Hello, Nitwit!  Without God, we can disregard the Golden Rule.

Truthfully, the pagan doesn’t actually trust ’empathy’ either.

3.8.17 Heathen Arguing Against Slavery (Violet #3).png

Some pagans believe that restating the question is a good way to answer the question.3.8.17 Heathen Arguing Against Slavery (Sirius #1).png

The godless agree that “increasing suffering” is a ‘wrong’.

But still, no compelling reason why I should not do this ‘wrong’.

3.8.17 Heathen Arguing Against Slavery (Allallt #2).png

So, slavery is ‘quite complex’ and requires ‘extra research’.

Plus, I’m probably too stupid to understand the answer.

Morality is so complicated that some pagans need research and data to know what’s ‘right’.

gil swarn - answer data.png

Pagans sneak in the idea of ‘reducing harm’ without explaining WHY that’s ‘right’.

In all that chatter there is no explanation why ‘child protection laws’ are morally correct.

The pagans are just ASSUMING that I’ll agree with them

As if there is some kind of moral ‘sense’ that all human beings just KNOW about…

Yet none of them have answered the initial question!

But then…finally…

3.8.17 Heathen Arguing Against Slavery (Ark #1).png

A brave pagan promised to answer the question, “If there is no such thing as sin, how can behavior be immoral?”

BUT FIRST, he needed the Christian definition of sin.

So for the billionth time, we gave the godless a definition of ‘sin’.3.8.17 Heathen Arguing Against Slavery (Ark #5).png

3.8.17 Heathen Arguing Against Slavery (Ark #2).png

 

3.8.17 Heathen Arguing Against Slavery (Ark #6).png3.8.17 Heathen Arguing Against Slavery (Ark #4).pngMaybe the ‘complexity’ of pagan morality makes it impossible to express.

Pagans need data graphs to determine whether or not to feed starving children.

At any rate, it’s okay to own slaves as long as they’re atheists.

So long as it doesn’t bother your sense of empathy.


263 thoughts on “Let’s Enslave Anyone Who Can’t Answer

  1. I would like to play heathen’s advocate. I submit that Christian morality is no different than atheist morality, in that the ideas of morally “right” and morally “wrong” are merely useful constructs, rather than objectively real. Especially in the case of Christian morality, it is assumed that when we do the right thing, it is always to our overall benefit and ultimately brings us more satisfaction, joy, benefit, happiness – your choice of “good-feeling” word. Though this does not sound at face value to be in line with Christian morality, I challenge you to identify a counter scenario where you would believe doing the right thing ultimately causes more harm than good to the doer (short term sacrifices, often lead to long-term gains in Christian morality). If your action actually would bring more harm, why still perform it?

    In a sense, God’s commands are not in place just for him to artificially enforce whatever he chooses, but the commands exist to more efficiently describe how to bring ourselves the most benefit in the natural world he has created.

    Additionally, the Christian should consider that we as humans are not always the best at determining what actions will actually bring us the most benefit. Whereas, an all-knowing creator would.

    Sorry for the length – ignore me if it’s boring or drivel. But to sum it up –

    Neither the Christian nor the atheist can claim objective moral truth, yet right and wrong are both useful constructs in each system, even if they are less defined in an atheist system.

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    1. “In a sense, God’s commands are not in place just for him to artificially enforce whatever he chooses, but the commands exist to more efficiently describe how to bring ourselves the most benefit in the natural world he has created.”

      The first part of this sentence is correct. God’s commands are not given so He can artificially enforce whatever He chooses. However, Christians are never promised any benefit in the natural world for doing what is right. Quite the opposite, in fact, we are promised many, many times in scripture that we will suffer, and even be killed, for doing what is right. And even though, yes, if we follow His teaching we will be rewarded with Heaven, it’s not really like a reward in the sense of “if you do this thing I’ll give you a pizza.” Heaven is a place where we dwell with God. That’s the reward. We do what’s right because we want to be as close to God as possible. Ultimately it’s not about us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m conficted by “Heaven is… the reward” and “Ultimately it’s not about us”. Heaven and other post-life rewards still bring us the most benefit… perhaps I shouldn’t have said “natural world” as that is ambiguous. I concede that natural is an inappropriate term in this conversation for what I meant. I suppose I meant that we still benefit more from doing “good” more than we benefit from doing evil, even if that means postmortem.

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      2. Yes, but does this still work if there is no Heaven and no afterlife? Plenty of people benefit from doing evil in this life. A thief who never gets caught for instance. Or, at the risk of getting political, most politicians. 😉

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      3. I would assert (without proof) that many of the ne’er do wells who don’t get caught still experience a higher level of internal conflict than those who do generally good things. Similar to a Buddhist view of desire and suffering.

        However, if they do genuinely benefit more, there’s little to convince that they ought not engage in what we would call immoral behavior. Thus, morality is simply a construct, but has no metaphysical/objective realness.

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      4. I would agree that there are negative consequences to doing the wrong thing that even that person may not be aware of. As a Christian, I would assert that the greatest negative consequence would be not knowing God or being in a relationship with Him. So, I guess, I’m not really arguing that there aren’t negative consequences to doing wrong in this life or positive consequences to doing right, so much as I’m asking does that matter? Does morality hinge on personal consequences? Do consequences change the rightness or wrongness of a behavior? It’s not an easy topic. And I’m not gonna pretend to know everything on the subject or say I fully understand it. But I think it creates a dangerous world when people believe morality is subjective. A lot of people have done very bad things believing themselves to be right.

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      5. I think I can agree with the sentiment of “does it matter?” in accordance with my original comment. My larger point is that I think it’s consistent for someone to hold the “benefits me” concept of morality and act accordingly to biblical morality.

        To the end part of your comment, I don’t think belief in subjective morality creates a dangerous world, but rather differing moral principles that justify what seems morally evil behavior

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      6. Biblical Morality and Sharia Law would pose two different claims to objective morality, but would have two different outcomes as far as what is morally acceptable… subjective morality would approve of multiple claims of moral behavior. Similar, but different.

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      7. I don’t suppose we can know with certainty that one is “correct’, but I can surmise that one would give me greater benefit if I follow it. Even that can’t be known with certainty, but I can use evidence to make a determination.

        Thus, the Christian morality can be compatible with no claims to a metaphysically real “morality”, but can consistently say that it works out to the most benefit of those follow it.

        I want to reiterate – the point of my original comment was that objective morality need not exist for a construct of Christian morality to be useful

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      8. I’m not sure that I totally disagree with your original point. (How’s that for a convoluted sentence?) Clearly I think the morality found in the Bible is the most useful. (And honestly I’m starting to lose the train of this conversation now that my computer is running again and I have to work. 😊)

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      9. If by ‘realness’ you mean a common basis, then morality does indeed have this… rooted as it is in our biology and shared by some other critters. What I don’t get is why any thinking person would assume religion could offer us insight into anything other than its own piety and accompanying dogma when it has produced a batting average of zero after two millennia or trying! Religion has not, does not, and is highly unlikely to ever produce any knowledge about anything ever. Including morality. That’s what the evidence shows us. Zero… so far.

        So, when inquiring into morality, why wouldn’t people turn to just about any other source that has produced knowledge? How about a science that actually deals with our physiology and neurology? How about a subject like…biology, an area that regularly produces knowledge that is then applied successfully in all kinds of related fields (like, oh I don’t know, medicine) … unless they are so indoctrinated into believing religious claims have some knowledge merit that they simply assume claims made by religious association really, really, really do… in spite of no evidence to support this assumption! That’s how powerful is the religious meme… selling ideas that are flat out wrong to a gullible population steeped in faux-respect for piety. That’s all that religion sells: piety and not knowledge. Never knowledge.

        To anyone actually interested in finding out more about ‘morality’, then any ‘answer’ that doesn’t include a biological component cannot be correct because it cannot be linked to us. Such a biology free ‘answer’ or ‘explanation’ will have the same knowledge value as regularly produced by religious belief: zero.

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  2. Ark should have gone of to bed the day before (and stayed there) and saved everyone a whole lot of wasted time.

    Over at my blog, good and lovely Violet looked at a couple of photos showing the butchery after the Allied bombing of Dresden and an Imperial Japanese barbarian with an infant hanging off its bayonet.

    Her answer was a program of teach-ins for all those concerned.

    Un-freaking-believable!

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    1. You are a liar, SoM. You bear false witness with the ease of someone who practices it so regularly that it’s like second nature to you. Your post was making a false equivalency between your God killing every living creature on earth save Noah and the passengers on his ark with a global flood and the allies bombing Dresden. That’s what VW was responding to – that mankind was as capable at global genocide as your creator god ‘fixing’ his previous mistakes and not, as you imply, waving away brutality and some of the killing that took place in the second world war.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tildeb,

        You people arguing against yourself and losing, isn’t me lying.

        But as an atheist you have no sense of morality so can’t be expected to understand that.

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  3. If you could define this ‘objective morality’ for us heathens and lay out the rules without using religious mumbo jumbo or any reference to all the ‘subjectivity’ you criticize, that might help, JB. Until then, you’re just blowing wind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear, that’s going to be a long, long, long wait.

      But here’s a prediction: Branyan will embark on a diversionary song and dance, never once answering the question.

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      1. He can’t. There is no such set of rules – some ‘objective morality – he can point to that is not completely obscured by nebulous religious language that is as meaningless on its own as it is convenient to presume. That’s all his argument is: presumption.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. For the 1000th time, a set of rules is not the same as an “objective” morality.

        Objective means goal-driven.

        That means the specific rules may change, in order to move humanity toward the goal.

        What’s the goal of evolution? (There isn’t one.)

        What’s the goal of God? (To bring humans into a relationship with Himself.)

        One of these is objective.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Typically in the conversation of objecti/subjective truth and the like, the term objective typically means something along the lines of “without reference to an observer” where as subjective would be the counter “with reference to observer”… I think to say that “God is objective because his objective is to bring humans into a relationship with himself” may be true, but uses a different (while accurate) definition of objective.

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      4. I use objective to mean “without reference to a HUMAN observer.”

        I’m not sure I understand the difference?

        If they want a “list” of actions that are always wrong, I believe there is just one: selfishness.

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      5. Okay, and I think many people would agree with you in saying that God’s “subjective” experience of the world he created is “objective” in that case, which is a fair view.

        I’m not exactly sure what zande and tildeb want… i’m trying to derive that in a few other posts here ^_^

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      6. JZ and Tildeb want disciples.
        The trouble is, all their current disciples are sycophantic nitwits. Deep down, the applause they receive from Carmen and Violet leave them feeling empty.

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      7. Ah, the fabled secret “goal” which your god keeps hidden from all people.

        Two questions

        1) is keeping a secret like this (as to what is right and what is wrong) ethical?

        2) was the bible, which supports and encourages slavery, a deliberate ruse?

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      8. Please answer the two questions without the typical Branyan ONE-HUNDRED-COMMENT-DIVERSION-SONG-AND-DANCE.

        Can you do that?

        Is it within your capabilities?

        Please.

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      9. I didn’t even notice you asked questions. I’m not interested.

        My comment was complete and thoughtful, and now I’m talking to MooseMan about it. I don’t remember asking for your subjective opinion? (Let alone asking for the JZ INTERROGATION SONG AND DANCE.) You’re not worth my time.

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      10. Please answer the two questions without the typical Branyan ONE-HUNDRED-COMMENT-DIVERSION-SONG-AND-DANCE.

        Can you do that?

        Is it within your capabilities?

        Please.

        Those questions again:

        1) is keeping a secret like this (as to what is right and what is wrong) ethical?

        2) was the bible, which supports and encourages slavery, a deliberate ruse?

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      11. Please answer the two questions without the typical Branyan ONE-HUNDRED-COMMENT-DIVERSION-SONG-AND-DANCE.

        Can you do that?

        Is it within your capabilities?

        Please.

        Those questions again:

        1) is keeping a secret like this (as to what is right and what is wrong) ethical?

        2) was the bible, which supports and encourages slavery, a deliberate ruse?

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      12. Then answer the questions put to you.

        Simple.

        1) is keeping a secret like this (as to what is right and what is wrong) ethical?

        2) was the bible, which supports and encourages slavery, a deliberate ruse?

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      13. Your “questions” are assinine. No one is keeping a “secret.”

        There is no “ruse.”

        Is there a list of things you’re supposed to do, to be in a relationship with your wife?

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      14. As per your assertion that there some hidden, secret goal, please answer the questions put to you.

        1) is keeping a secret like this (as to what is right and what is wrong) ethical?

        2) was the bible, which supports and encourages slavery, a deliberate ruse?

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      15. No, that is your assertion. “Objective means goal” you said.

        In relation to slavery, you are saying what was right then (slavery) is not right now.

        That “truth” was revealed, therefore it was HIDDEN from those back then.

        Secret.

        So, the questions stand.

        Please address them without any further diversion

        1) is keeping a secret like this (as to what is right and what is wrong) ethical?

        2) was the bible, which supports and encourages slavery, a deliberate ruse?

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      16. Is that one of your objective rules for being in a relationship?

        “We’ll never censor each other?”

        Well, consider this my way of saying: I don’t want to be your friend.

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      17. Follow Up #2 should be: “Let’s Send to Spam Anyone Who Can’t Answer.”

        LOL!

        Where’s the list of right/wrong things everyone should do when they’re in a relationship with a girlfriend/wife.

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      18. Yes, I saw that. Convincing stuff.

        So, Yhwh was keeping a secret from all mthose people in the past. Worse, actually… He deliberately misled them, as per the bible.

        That’s interesting.

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      19. Objective (OED) adjective (of a person or their judgement)

        1. not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
        2. Not dependent on the mind for existence; actual.

        Subjective (OED) adjective (of a person or their judgement)

        1. Based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
        2. Dependent on the mind or on an individual’s perception for its existence.

        There is nothing here about goals. You’re just making shit up.

        Liked by 1 person

      20. Thanks, Mooseman. I appreciate the discussion… I’m still not quite clear what you’re arguing, though. (I’m following your conversation with Whitney loosely.)

        What did you think of my suggestion that “selfishness” is the only objective moral rule?

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      21. Sorry if I’m not clear sometimes – definitely call me out on it when you see it ^_^.

        Depends on what you mean by selfishness. There is the short-term selfishness that is generally synonymouse with greed – that is certainly wrong – it certainly covers a multitude of wrong actions, since I can’t think of a wrong deed that isn’t rooted in selfishness to some degree.

        However, I somewhat feel that we cannot help but act in self-interest (which some people might call selfishness). This self-interest is what motivates us to be “good,” since being good will ostensibly always be better for us overall.

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      22. I’m suggesting that God’s objective Moral Law is–put others first. (Specifically, put God first, and then others second.)

        Rather than a list of actions that are good/bad, God looks at the heart to see what MOTIVATES any given action. Which means two humans who appear to make the same choice could be good or bad, depending on the unseen (but still objective?) intention…

        Would this meet your criteria for “objective?”

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      23. Well, there’s debate as to whether God’s experience with the world could be considered subjective or is for all intents and purposes objective…. soooo… It’s close enough to say “sure” that is as close to objective as anyone can get, but it’s consistent to say that its still subjective to God’s view of morality.

        Motivation is a difficult criteria for judgment – because I still think we always act in self-interest as described above – everything we do is based in the idea that what we’re doing is best for us (of course, we’re frequently poor judges of that, especially in the moment).

        Although, I think we can certainly have good, unselfish intentions and commit morally wrong things… I can provide examples if needed… so motivation alone is certainly not the basis.

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      24. Motivation sometimes is difficult for HUMANS to determine. (Although, sometimes it’s pretty obvious. lol.) But that’s why, I think, Creator God is the only One capable of establishing and enforcing objective morality…

        Yes, I’d like an example of something done unintentionally, which is objectively wrong, so I understand what you’re thinking.

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      25. Okay. Let’s use the example of a suicide bomber. It is most likely that the bomber is motivated by his love of his concept of God and the wellbeing of his compatriats. Now sure, the person is likely acting in self-interest (which is necessary for every concept of morality, I believe), but I don’t think it’s the same selfishness/greed that we’re talking about that causes people to steal or cheat for their own immediate good.

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      26. I’d actually go so far as to say that–if the suicide bomber is acting according to his best understanding of “love” and “sacrifice,” it’s possible that he is still acting in an objectively right way.

        Of course, I am not God. So–if I’m correct that God is the only one capable of judging by this standard–it isn’t ultimately my call to make. But I think it’s possible that a suicide bomber could be morally correct, even while doing something that I (on the other hand) would be morally incorrect to do. Does that make sense?

        The example I used a few days ago was regarding the way I deal with my children of different ages: my five-year-old gets in big trouble when she waits too long to use the restroom and goes in her pants. My 1-year-old, on the other hand, isn’t held to the same standard. Is that the same as “subjectivity?” I would argue it isn’t–because the standard I’m using for ALL of my kids will take into account their ages and knowledge levels and (most importantly) their motivation.

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      27. Okay, I’m glad we’ve clarified. I also agree that messing one’s own pants has varying degrees of moral goodness ^_^.

        The issue I primarily have with this kind of stance is that it can promote a type of ignorance. Things aren’t wrong if I don’t know their wrong, so why make any sort of progress in looking to change my view of morality? Maybe that’s okay, but it certainly doesn’t set well with me, at least.

        It’s similar to the idea of slavery (to somewhat return to the OP). To say that culture without the oppressive slavery of US circa 1850 is not actually better than a culture with such slavery… it at least doesn’t settle well with me (and we can explore it further if you’d like)

        In short, I’m not sure what sort of moral progress we can actually make with the “best intentions” baseline for morality.

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      28. I understand the issue you’re describing…

        but…
        …wouldn’t the fact that people try to make excuses for ignorance sort-of indicate they DO, in fact, know that something (like suicide bombing) is wrong? 🙂

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      29. I think it indicates that when someone appeals to ignorance on their own behalf (“I didn’t know calling my wife fat was going to upset her. I can’t be morally culpable.”).

        However, your appeal on behalf of the suicide bomber doesn’t indicate the bombers knows it’s wrong. Perhaps I misunderstand you…

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      30. Yeah, I didn’t say it well. :/
        You had said a person could reason, “Things aren’t wrong if I don’t know they’re wrong, so why make any sort of progress in looking to change my view of morality?”

        What I’m trying to suggest is that–once a person begins reasoning this way–it betrays the true, selfish tendency of their heart. Although God is the only one who can say for sure, I think that’s the point where you’re no longer dealing with a childlike mistake. It crosses a line into adult rebellion.

        In that case, the suicide bomber may actually be conflicted (“deep down”) because he suspects he’s doing something wrong…but goes ahead anyway.

        I have a suspicion this happens with things like homosexuality, as well. I’m willing to grant that homosexuality in various cultures may have been overlooked by God due to a genuine belief that it’s loving and beautiful to sacrifice for a same-sex spouse as with any other spouse. BUT, I’m also inclined to believe that most practicing homosexuals know (deep down) that what they’re doing is unnatural and built upon lust rather than a desire to please God… If they go ahead and do it anyway, then it’s objectively wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      31. Okay, I think I get what you’re saying a little better. Thanks!

        The inner conflict adds a wrench as well. It’s likely that the bomber is more sure (ex. 80% sure) that he is doing the right thing by going through with the bombing (and has 20% reservations or doubt). At what point does the Bomber no longer have that conflict and can act rightly?

        “Know”:” is a strong word at times – I think “suspect” may be more appropriate in your example of the gay man knowing that it’s unnatural. And if he only suspects it and is 80% confident that it’s the best route, it’d be difficult to say it’s wrong.

        I understand that only God can judge this kind of intentions, as you’ve said, but likely there things you’ve kinda wished you hadn’t done and were likely wrong, though you didn’t think so at the time.

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      32. There certainly are things I wish I had done differently (“if only I’d known…”), but I still don’t think God holds me accountable–and wrong–for things done in genuine ignorance.

        The problem is, there are plenty of things I’ve known–for sure, no question, 100%–were wrong, and did them anyway… and, if that’s not bad enough, I’ve gone on to rationalize and justify them later. I can’t meet even my own, subjective standards for myself, let alone the objective, totally-unselfish standard of God.

        THAT is what I believe we’ll need to give an account for some day. It will be less about “Why didn’t you kill Hitler” and more about, “Why did you lose your patience with your kid so much?” and “Why did you treat your boss so crappy?” and “How many times did you lie just to make yourself look good?” Humanity, if it’s looking to do right and avoid wrong, is in trouble by any standard.

        Liked by 1 person

      33. Agreed that we’re in trouble by any standard ^_^. While I do somewhat agree with your standard of selfishness, I’m not convinced at this time that motives are the only factor in morality. Still open to talking more, but I don’t feel I have any further additions at this time (and I’m about to host a game night, which is more important than you guys to me ^_-). I’ve very much enjoyed the conversation ^_^.

        Liked by 1 person

      34. So, it was an open game night to a group of friends of mine… i sorta expected 5, ended up getting 7 total players, which limited our options a bit since we like to play together when possible….

        So, 7 wonders hit the table first, followed by three rousing games of the Resistance (with the Commander variant and on with the Plot Thickens cards), and we ended with a nice relaxing game of Dixit.

        Only a few of the guys identify as gamers – so the best compliment of the night was “I don’t really like games, but I really like what we played tonight” ^_^

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      35. Not to continue this conversation unnecessarily, but there’s an idea running through my head after reading this thread and I’d like to try it out on y’all. Could it be wrong to willfully or knowingly keep oneself in ignorance? I’ve always considered truth-seeking a virtue. I feel like this is a natural, human desire as well, to seek truth, particularly truth in morality. I know there are times I’ve knowingly tried to keep myself ignorant of facts because I know if I learn more of what’s right and wrong I will be morally responsible to be more mature (and being mature and responsible is almost always less fun in the short term). In the case of the suicide bomber, his culpability may rest in whether he had opportunities to question his beliefs and didn’t. Unlike what fundamentalists (theist and atheist alike) believe, God doesn’t forbid us from questioning and having doubts about Him, a biblical example of this would be Job. Sorry if this thought is a mess, kinda just typing as it comes to me.

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      36. You’re touching on exactly what I was trying to say about ignorance, and that line between a childlike mistake and a rebellious choice.

        I don’t think it’s possible to be intentionally or willfully ignorant. If you’re plugging your ears (so to speak) just to keep from having to wrestle with something your conscience is clearly uneasy about, then I think you’re culpable for that choice.

        It sort of touches my blog post about my son, who ate the granola bar, even though he thought it was off limits. The granola bar wasn’t off limits, except that he THOUGHT he was doing something wrong, and did it anyway…and then lied about it…. so what could have been a harmless granola bar ended up becoming a sin. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      37. MooseMan, you say that, “we cannot help but act in self-interest (which some people might call selfishness). This self-interest is what motivates us to be “good,” since being good will ostensibly always be better for us overall.”

        This why acts of pure altruism – often going under different names – is so interesting. These acts have strong similarities: they are sudden, impulsive, with little if any consideration of self harm, and almost always explained as, “Anyone would have done what I did.”

        What I find so compelling are the reasons so many people do such selfless acts, chief among among them is, “It was the right thing to do.” To my way of thinking, doesn’t it speak more highly of one’s moral character to do what’s right for the sake of rightness (risking great self harm in the process) than it is for the sake of some later and quite selfish reward… as is often the case for the defense of religious morality? That’s a major problem I have with those who claim a higher state of morals belong to those who selfishly seek this greater reward (or avoidance of terrible punishment) in some hypothetical afterlife through doing ‘good’ (as if they had to be a surrogate for their god) yet insist that such moral concerns only come from this externalized model of commanded morality.

        Au contraire.

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      38. Good grief.

        No, Amanda, it’s not a proper noun because it’s not a person, place, or thing. And it certainly isn’t a noun when DESCRIBING the noun ‘morality’.

        No matter what you believe, language only transfers meaning successfully when both parties SHARE a common understanding. That’s why we use dictionaries. You throwing in new definitions of term simply to suit your opinion about the noun it describes not only undermines your ability to communicate but reveals the deceptive tactics being employed by you. That’s a clue, people…

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      39. “Objective” is not just an adjective. It’s also a noun.

        I’m sorry that doesn’t translate meaning in your reality, but I’m not sure why you’re blaming ME for that.

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      40. No, because the standard needed for comparing an contrasting whatever morality may be has to be mind-dependent… in the same way any measuring system we use has to be mind-dependent first and then agreed to be the common standard (like the common meaning of language has to be first be accepted).

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    2. Granted, I’m not JB (as your requested), but I think that “Moral rules that necessarily apply to a set of beings” would be a start.

      An example question “Is slavery always wrong?” if not, then I don’t think the OP applies to your worldview. If so, from where do you derive that necessary moral rule?

      Define the terms how you like.

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      1. Ah, MoodMan, the opening phrases of the song and dance… the ‘differing worldviews’ number.

        Oh look, you can’t define what this ‘objective moral law’ is that you insist exists, so you think the problem belongs to those who don’t believe that any such law independently exists.

        Why am I not surprised?

        Well, because this is the typical apologetic tactic to avoid the hard questions, a tactic used by those who presume, “This is what I believe and if you don’t accept/respect/honour my beliefs then it’s your ‘worldview’ that is to blame and not my lack of independent evidence that I insist is real but cannot produce to inform my claim.”

        A diversion and avoidance tactic. Might as well put it to music.

        Like

      2. I feel that not only did I define objective morality with “Moral rules that necessarily apply to a set of beings”, I did not assert that it exists.

        In order to make any claim about existance or non existence, the term needs defined. I feel you can do that too if you don’t like my definition, then we can have a conversation about that.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Tildeb,

      Objective morality refers to a standard of morality that isn’t just someone’s personal opinion.

      Natural Law theory provides such an objective standard which “using religious mumbo jumbo.”

      Like

      1. No, SoM, ‘natural’ law is full to the brim of subjective assumptions because what the term ‘natural’ refers to is ‘objectively’ either undefined or is filled in with Augustine’s tautology (a ‘natural’ law theory of morality is derived from the rational ‘nature’ of human beings). It is filled in with whatever religious nonsense suits the religious person doing the filling who then uses this ‘moral law giver’ and this ‘objective morality’ model to hide behind in order to pretend that differences of opinion are actually differences of morality and belong only to the amoral or immoral heathen… defined to be such using this metaphysical mumbo jumbo.

        How convenient. How hollow. How droll.

        Like

      2. Natural Law theory uses human nature as the standard for good and evil.

        That which nurtures the person is moral.

        That which is detrimental to the person is evil.

        It is what Violet swears by but without all the hallucinatory gobble-d-gook.

        So maybe you’d like to take it up with Violet, since you both are arguing against each other and losing.

        Like

    4. I cannot ‘define this objective morality without using religious mumbo jumbo’. All statements regarding morality are religious statements.

      A transcendent, perfectly good Being is ‘objective morality’. This Being has enabled a moral sense in all human beings (maybe some animals too). That moral sense does not change over time. It does not change across cultures. Human beings all KNOW instinctively that some things are ALWAYS ‘right’.

      Humility
      Kindness
      Honesty
      Courage
      Generosity
      Compassion
      Empathy

      These are objective examples of ‘good’. These do not change. These do not evolve. These moral virtues are without meaning in your worldview where they are reduced to mere chemistry.

      Discussions about specific moral behaviors are incoherent unless there is a transcendent, absolute, objective moral ‘Truth’ to which we are aspiring. The atheist position is irrational.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Let’s see if this comment gets censored…

        So, by this are you saying the bible (which supports and encourages slavery, for example) was a deliberate ruse? It was purposeful misinformation, dceliberately leading people toward wrong behaviour?

        Would you call this ethical behaviour?

        Like

      2. Posting here is a privilege. It is a courtesy that I have granted. You have consistently abused this privilege. You have been demeaning and impolite. You have been vulgar, obscene and incendiary. Basically, you have been ‘a Windbag’.

        I have not censored or banned you because your comments consistently demonstrate the futility of your atheist worldview. But you have outlived your usefulness. You have become a nuisance. You will interpret this as a victory. In your twisted reality, you win the argument when you are banished from the discussion. So be it.

        But since you seem to have no sense of propriety, decency, or courtesy, here’s how we’re going to handle you from now on. Your ‘questions’ will be addressed ONCE. Notice I did not say ‘answered’ because you tend to ask loaded questions that HAVE NO ANSWERS. When you pose such questions, we will inform you and allow you to restructure the question. We WILL NOT tolerate you repeatedly pasting the EXACT SAME comment over and over. We WILL NOT tolerate your accusations of ‘evasion’ or ‘SONG AND DANCE’ after we have addressed your question. In short, we WILL NOT tolerate you plugging up the comment section with your petulant, childish nonsense.

        Now: To your ‘questions’…
        “So, by this are you saying the bible (which supports and encourages slavery, for example) was a deliberate ruse? It was purposeful misinformation, dceliberately leading people toward wrong behaviour?”
        No. I said nothing of the sort. You have misunderstood my answer.

        “Would you call this ethical behaviour?”
        This question is irrelevant in light of my answer to your first question.

        You have been warned.
        If you come back asking exactly the same question…your comment will disappear into the ether.

        Like

      3. Oh come off it. How about you climb down from that ridiculous mound of self-righteousness. The sheer amount of evasion, dodging, equivocation, and obstruction performed by both you and your daughter is beyond the pale. You both have demonstrated nothing but a juvenile approach to blogging tainted with a pettiness that belies rational consideration.

        Let me spell this out for you: you don’t like me commenting because I expose 1) your stunning contradictions, and 2) the failure of every premise you proffer.

        Period.

        Case-in-point: your desperate attempt to rescue your god from the charge of immorality by inventing an entirely new theology of the Christian god, YHWH, changing his mind. When shown how this is not Christian, you hand-wave like a child.

        Case-in-point: your daughter inventing a new theology where “objective” moral truth now actually means “a goal.” This, of course, points to but one thing: a SECRET. But oh no, when this is pointed out to you both you panic and start censoring because that would mean your god is unethical.

        You want to ban me, ban me. As I said to your daughter, you have sleep with yourself at night, not me.

        OK, to your answer. Thank you for at least attempting one. I appreciate that, which is more than I can say for your daughter.

        True, you did not “say” that, but that is what is implied, and you know it is. So here we see your slipperiness at play. Everything has to be dragged out through a 100-comment roller coaster.

        So, by your answer, yes, the bible was, apparently, a ruse. It sanctions slavery (amongst a myriad of other immoral things), but you now say that was never your gods intention… his “goal.”

        I won’t even bother asking where you got your Magic-Decoder-Ring to know Yhwh’s mind.

        So, the logical conclusion from your stated position is that you believe the bible was a ruse of some sort… full of misinformation.

        If, however, you disagree with this assessment then by all means tell me why the bible sanctions slavery, the murder of innocents, and animal sacrifice, to name just three things.

        Why produce a document, and disseminate it, if it contained (apparently) factually wrong information concerning issues of enormous import; namely, the suffering of people.

        “This question is irrelevant”

        Oh no its not.

        We return to the SECRET goal Yhwh, apparently, has.

        Don’t try and say thousands of generations of human beings didn’t suffer enormously because of the edicts specified in your holy book.

        And let’s not even bother with the blazingly obvious, like where is the difficulty in simply saying, oh, I don’t know, “Owning and selling human beings (men, women, and children) as possessions, as commodities, is wrong. Don’t do it.”

        You say there was/is a secret goal, so please defend that position.

        If you say Yhwh has a secret goal (a goal which says slavery, for example, is wrong, but permitted it for thousands of years, causing untold misery along the way), then you have to address the matter of whether keeping this secret was ethical.

        So, is it ethical? Is keeping a secret as to what is actually right and what is actually wrong ethical behavior?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well, you didn’t paste EXACTLY the same comment so I’ll give you marks for that. You did, however, respond with the same questions that I previously answered.
        Thin ice here, Windbag. I’m not kidding when I tell you that your pompous, bloviating blather is not welcome here. You’re being an ass.

        I’m an amiable chap though. I’ll patiently endure some more of your tripe if there is good reason to do so. In order to determine whether or not answering your questions is worthwhile, you need to answer this question first:

        Do you believe in the existence of a supernatural/metaphysical reality?

        If you answer, “NO”, there is no point is discussing the particulars of something that doesn’t exist.
        If you answer, “YES”, then we can look forward to many interesting exchanges of religious ideas.

        Like

      5. Well, shoot!
        I understand how hard it is to shift gears. So I’ll give you another chance.

        Do you believe in the existence of a supernatural/metaphysical reality?

        If the question itself confuses you, then you are ill-equipped to participate in these conversations. You’re like the guy in the book club who hasn’t read the book but keeps talking about his opinions of it.

        Like

      6. I do NOT have your answer.
        You will not state what you believe about the existence of supernatural/metaphysical reality.
        And since I am not in the habit of assigning ideology to people, I cannot go any further with this discussion.

        Like

      7. John, I asked you a question so, as per request, I would not have to guess what your theology is.

        That question again:

        John Branyan, are you a Christian?

        Yes or No?

        Like

      8. John, are you a Christian?

        If you want me to stop GUESSING whast your theology is, then answer the question and I’ll never do it again.

        I promise.

        Are you a Christian?

        Like

      9. To repeat the answer given in the comment you deleted.

        I believe pansychism might well exist. That is neither supernatural nor metaphysical.

        Now, are you a Christian?

        Like

      10. Look. it. up. It’s there. Consciousness is a fourth state of matter. Integrated Information theory. It actually falls well-within your daughters suggestion of a “goal,” but her opinion is not Chrsitian, of course.

        John Branyan, are you a Christian?

        Like

      11. I looked it up the first time you used the word. I know what Google says. I’ve even read a few articles.

        Google does not tell me what YOU believe. This is how these discussions work. I’m asking you to give me your perspective rather than assigning you a position and demanding that you justify it. I’m not putting you in a box. I’m not ascribing you a dogma.

        I’m curious how you can say ‘consciousness is a fourth state of matter’ and maintain that pansychism isn’t metaphysical.

        Like

      12. Max Tegmark thinks its a fourth state. Thast slips in well with ITT. These things are mathematically verifiable. You do not need some nothing term like “metaphysics” to describe.

        What does it mean? It means progress, relentless progress.

        Now, John Branyan, are you a Christian?

        Like

      13. Now I know what you think Max Tegmark thinks. Fantastic.

        What is ITT? (I already Googled it…)

        And since you don’t like the term ‘metaphysical’, how would you describe something that exists only as ‘mathematically verifiable’?

        Like

      14. I never said it only existed in that manner. I quite specifically said it was tan gible, a fourth state of matter, as some say.

        If it is real, it is real. That is to say, it doesn’t require an external world (witho0ut the slightest shred of evidence, or even a hint of a shred of evidence) like what you posit. This world in not an artificial creation.

        John Branyan, are you a Christian?

        you said:

        And you will not be allowed to assign me theological views anymore either. You can quote me when I say things. You cannot tell me what I believe and then force me to defend it.

        I have been trying my best to save both ourselves any further problems in this matter.

        Please, then, answer the question without any further diversion.

        John Branyan, are you a Christian?

        If you do not answer you CANNOT get mad at me as per your statement above.

        So, again:

        Are you a Christian?

        Yes or No?

        Like

      15. “I never said it only existed in that manner. I quite specifically said it was tan gible, a fourth state of matter, as some say.”

        Consciousness is not tangible.
        And if you don’t like ‘metaphysical’, what word do you use to describe consciousness?

        Like

      16. Are you seriously suggesting that consciousness is tangible? Is that what you’re claiming?

        Because I’m going to need you to produce a handful of consciousness before I will concede this.

        And we cannot discuss Christianity because you do not believe in any sort of intangible/metaphysical reality.

        Like

      17. Sure.
        I believe you are evading my query about consciousness being tangible.

        I believe you realize that metaphysical reality is necessary for your panpsychism.

        I believe you are trying to refocus the conversation on Christianity to avoid facing these difficult questions.

        I believe you will not answer this question:

        Do you really believe consciousness is tangible?

        Like

      18. John, as you are not a Christian, could you please let me know what your beliefs are.

        You asked for mine. I have told you without diversion. Evidence points to panpsychism. Whether it is true or not, I cannot say. Presently there is much research going into it, not least of all by MIT physicist, Professor Max Tegmark.

        You now have to tell me what your beliefs are, so I know where you’re coming from.

        This will help all future communication.

        John, as its not Christian theology, what do you believe?

        Like

      19. Hold yer horses, pardner.
        What evidence points to panpsychism?

        (I know what a stickler you are for this so I’m sure you haven’t just accepted panpsychism without some very compelling evidence!)

        Like

      20. Evolution. Constant improvement. Bejan’s Constructal Law. An unrestricted movement to higher orders of complexity through time.

        NOW, John, as you are not a Christian, could you please let me know what your beliefs are.

        You asked for mine. I have told you without diversion. Evidence points to panpsychism. Whether it is true or not, I cannot say. Presently there is much research going into it, not least of all by MIT physicist, Professor Max Tegmark.

        You now have to tell me what your beliefs are, so I know where you’re coming from.

        This will help all future communication.

        John, as its not Christian theology, what do you believe?

        Like

      21. Stop copying your previous statements. Its annoying.

        None of the things you listed are evidence that consciousness is tangible. Do you want to readjust that claim?

        Like

      22. I refer you to Tegmark, and neuroscientists Giulio Tononi and Christof Koch. I’m not pretending to know things I do not know.

        Now, are you seriously going to persist with the Branyan ONE-HUNDRED-COMMENT-DIVERSION-SONG-AND-DANCE?

        I have asked you a question.

        Please answer it.

        Like

      23. Stop accusing me of song and dance. You are the one who is evading the question. See how you’ve flip-flopped already?

        You claimed there is evidence for Panpsychism.
        Now you are telling me you’re “not pretending to know things you do not know”.
        So, to be clear…
        …you are accepting Panpsychism on blind faith?

        Like

      24. Again, I refer you to Tegmark, and neuroscientists Giulio Tononi and Christof Koch. I’m not pretending to know things I do not know. What we do know is that the universe is a type of complexity machine. That is what 13.82 billion years informs us of. As said by Philosopher and Evolutionary Biologist, Kelly Smith:

        “The large scale history of the universe strongly suggests a trend of increasing complexity: disordered energy states produce atoms and molecules, which combine to form suns and associated planets, on which life evolves. Life then seems to exhibit its own pattern of increasing complexity, with simple organisms getting more complex over evolutionary time until they eventually develop rationality and complex culture. And recent theoretical developments in Biology and complex systems theory suggest this trend may be real, arising from the basic structure of the universe in a predictable fashion … If this is right, you can look at the universe as a kind of ‘complexity machine’”

        Now, I have asked you a question.

        Please answer it.

        Like

      25. The new doesn’t stand without the old.
        Listen, you bore me.
        Seriously, you do.
        You have the personality of an unattractive house brick, and are completely lacking even the shallowest hint of cleverness. Literally, there is nothing appealing or interesting about you. At all.
        But thanks, again, for providing yet another fine working example of the Branyan ONE-HUNDRED-COMMENT-DIVERSION-SONG-AND-DANCE.
        You must be very proud of yourself.
        The word Pathetic comes to mind.
        How does that work for you, pathetic?
        Does pathetic sound about right?
        Does pathetic fit?
        Okay, great, let’s stick with that: Pathetic.

        Like

      26. Did you read the comment thread? When we send his cut and paste responses to spam it makes it easy to follow the discussion.

        “I believe in panpsychism.”
        What is panpsychism, JZ?
        “I don’t know.”

        Like

      27. Let me help you with your final word.

        John: “You expose the failures in my positions and identify my contradictions, and that embarrasses me… for this I hate you.”

        Like

      28. As an addendum, don’t forget, it is you, John Branyan, who is saying the Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch, the god of Christianity, Yhwh, is the source of some objective moral truth.

        If that puts you in a box, then so be it. I, however, did’t put you there.

        Like

      29. You are just looking for a reason not to address Moose’s questions. That’s why you’ve been trying so hard to get banned today.

        He has had great conversations with both Whitney and myself today.

        I don’t blame you for running away from him and never coming back. “Oh, Moose, my comments are being deleted. I guess I can’t reply!”

        Yeah, you’re welcome for the excuse, JZ.

        Liked by 1 person

      30. As you were censoring comments I figured there was no point in continuing talking to him as he’d be left answerless because you were deleting comments.

        You were deleting comments, were you not?

        Like

      31. Did you see this ?

        “Let me spell this out for you: you don’t like me commenting because I expose 1) your stunning contradictions, and 2) the failure of every premise you proffer.
        Period.”

        LOLOLOLOL!

        He exposes MY stunning contradictions after he creates these contradictions and assigns them to me.
        Failure of EVERY premise I proffer! EVERY. SINGLE. PREMISE.

        Like

      32. He just said this to mooseman regarding ‘reduced suffering’:

        “I neither call it subjective or objective. I call it continually improving. Hopefully.”

        Neither subjective or objective…neither…
        The light is neither on or off…neither…it’s just improving.

        Like

      33. “As an addendum, don’t forget, it is you, John Branyan, who is saying the Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch, the god of Christianity, Yhwh, is the source of some objective moral truth.”

        And you will not be allowed to assign me theological views anymore either. You can quote me when I say things. You cannot tell me what I believe and then force me to defend it.

        That absolutely IS ‘putting me in a box’. Sorry.

        Like

      34. No, they’re not incoherent discussions of they don;t include a transcendent being… whatever that might be. What’s incoherent is to include this magical agency as a necessary component. Everything else you’ve listed can easily be demonstrated to have its roots in reciprocity. No god is needed.

        Like

  4. Everyone answered it. You just refused to see the answer.

    But here, to answer again:

    It is wrong for the same reasons why you, John Branyan, would not want to be a slave. The same reason why you would not want your daughter or wife thrown into slavery.

    You can determine for yourself, can’t you, why you wouldn’t want to see yourself, your wife, or your daughter thrown into slavery?

    Like

    1. Apparently not, JZ; JB cannot determine for himself why he wouldn’t want to be a slave or have those he cares for thrown into slavery. And he thinks – sorry, he knows – all non believers in his god suffer this same moral deficit.

      JB seems to require a fixed set of his god’s rules to follow to control his behaviour for him because he’s not grown up enough to do it himself. And this, he seems to think – sorry again, he knows – makes him a moral agent but those who do take moral responsibility for their actions using reciprocity as a guide are either amoral or immoral by his bizarre definition.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I don’t think that line of thinking works in every case and is therefore not really objective. Which maybe is fine, but is the point that I think the OP intends you to concede. In fact, the wording is super subjective. (“why would you…”) Two counter examples.

      A)John Branyan, a sociopathic masochist, really would enjoy being enslaved and having his daughter enslaved. I believe the logic supplied above would indeed give him permission to enslave others.

      B) I, a cultured elitist, would not enjoy country line-dancing – it would be torturous. I believe the logic supplied above would indeed compel me to seek the end of country line dancing for everyone to achieve the moral status of an abolitionist.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Outside masochistic psychopaths, people with physical mental illnesses, can you think of any rational, sane, or capable entity who would wish to be thrust into a life of brutal servitude?

        Like

      2. No, but that excludes those real people as moral agents or gives them permission to act immorally – how can I know that I’m not a masochistic psychopath and trust my moral reasoning?

        Like

      3. I think we’re having two different conversations. I’m saying that we can’t subjectively identify moral behaviors. I’m just saying that this line of thinking is subjective and inherently comes up with different results with different people, even if those people are in a minority at times.

        To continue your conversation, the answer is no.

        Like

      4. Bully for me. So it’s subjective, then? Why then do you take away that capability from others, because it doesn’t align with your view? To rephrase the question, Who determines who is capable of assigning those values?

        Like

      5. Okay. So it’s right for JB to enslave others in his worldview, but wrong for JB to enslave others in mine and your worldview.

        I suppose that’s internally consistent, but why should JB change his actions? He’s acting rightly according to him… I suppose it would be consistent if you tried to persuide him. But empathically to JB, I don’t know that it’s right for him in his worldview to not enslave…

        Like

      6. Sorry MooseMan, but my comments are being deleted, so I don’t think this is a conducive place for conversation.

        Would like to contiunue, but the Branyans are misbehaving

        Like

      7. If John Branyan is mentally ill then we can determine his actions to be wrong. It’s why the mentally ill who murder today are not treated as sane murderers, rather afflicted human beings who cannot help themselves. We remove such people from society, but we try to treat them.

        Like

      8. I’m not comfortable with the idea that the mentally are not moral agents. It promotes morality by democracy.

        Empathy is a fine code to live by, but it’s by no means a good source of moral prescription. Not everyone’s empathy is the same – not just the sociopathic either (though, the extreme examples tend to single out sociopaths).

        Once again, I’m fine for now with the assumption that empathic morality as a system of morality, but to be morally prescriptive about it, that’s where I take issue.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Psychopaths (and sociopaths), quite literally, do not have the capacity for empathy. They have a physical disability, faulty wiring in the head. This has been well documented.

        I never said empathy was the basis of understanding right from wrong. It’s an element, absolutely, but we cannot ignore other factors like a sense of fair play which has been demonstrated in monkeys and dogs.

        Like

      10. I apologize for misrepresenting your position. It seems it is a little more complex than I had imagined.

        I’m really not trying to be a jerk, I’m seriously curious – what other factors do you use to determine moral behavior?

        Also, am I right in assuming that you’re not fine with saying your basis for morality is subjective? Could you identify the nuance as to why (which may be part of the previous question)?

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Hmm… I tend to agree with the suffering line of thinking, though it’s still quite a complicated system. I would feel forced to insert caveats that A)Consequences of actions are often delayed (so, delayed gratification must be factored in) B) Full Consequences of actions are often immeasurable, C) In accordance with B), moral agents are frequently wrong about what causes the most suffering. D) Anti-suffering (happiness, benefit, good) is also an important factor.

        Is there any issue with adding those premises (I’m not trying to lay a trap, which I know it sounds like, these are true thoughts I’m having right now and I’m trying to understand your position).

        Additionally, I’m still not sure if I can assume that you’re system of morality is subjective.

        Like

      12. The ‘reduce suffering’ argument came into vogue when Sam Harris published his Moral Landscape book. There are more than a few major problems with the theory. The primary problem (germane to this discussion) is that ‘reduce suffering’ is a subjective concept. Who’s suffering are we concerned about?

        Like

      13. I would posture, as in my original comment, I’m mostly concerned about my own suffering ^_^, which I was implying in my original post. And you’re right, it is subjective.

        I’d submit again down here, that there is no counter example that shows this incompatible with Christian morality (with some caveats, mostly which I mentioned in my most recent comment in this thread).

        Like

      14. Agree.
        Empathy, sympathy and ‘reduced suffering’ are completely compatible with Christianity. The difficulty that Harris has is making these things ‘objectively true’ on the basis of natural science.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. I have played it and very much enjoy it – it’s a candidate for tonight depending on player count. Additionally, I strongly recommend 7 wonders duel if you encounter many/any two player situations. I think I like that one a smidgen more as it is easier to set-up/track what’s going on (less AP, which is a strong factor with my normal group)

        Like

      16. Hmm… see, that’s odd to me. I take those two terms to be all encompassing and mutually exclusive (to clarify, in all situations where one of the terms could apply, one and only one does apply). I don’t know why you’re uncomfortable admitting either one.

        Like

      17. I’m not uncomfortable at all. Quite on the contrary, it should be anyone positing an “objective” truth who should feel uncomfortable.

        Aristotle might have thought that the purpose of all things was to fulfil their nature, to strive towards some ideal neatly bottled inside their form, but such a state of employment could only ever be relevant, be meaningful, in a closed system. The Earth is not however a closed system. 438,000 watt-hours of free energy per square foot fall on the earth every year. Forces flow in and out and through everything. Evolution never ends, it never ceases, never rests. The transfer and rearrangement of material is incessant.

        By this truism, my position simply reflects reality.

        Like

      18. I unapproved the comment.

        When I did that with Ark, it sent all of this other comments to spam automatically.

        I guess that doesn’t always work?

        (I don’t know. I’ve literally never had to do it before.)

        Like

      19. Hope you feel better! I’m currently at work but I can’t do anything bc my computer’s not working. IT’s trying to fix it, but for now I’m kinda stuck with nothing to do.

        Like

    3. “You can determine for yourself, can’t you, why you wouldn’t want to see yourself, your wife, or your daughter thrown into slavery?”

      Yep!
      Human beings are made in the image of God. As such, they have intrinsic value that transcends the natural world. So when I say “slavery is evil” I am appealing to something much bigger than my personal opinion.

      Question answered. (Again.)

      You may now proceed with your patented SONG AND DANCE

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Would love to chat, John, but I’m being censored, my comments edited, and deleted.

        I thought you said no censorship would ever happen here?

        I guess you lied.

        Like

      2. Find where he said that, Liar!

        I remember where he said we’d never done it before. (But this isn’t the first time bloggers have had to make exceptions for your special brand of retarded.)

        Like

      3. What “intrinsic value that transcends the natural world?” That’s not a definition of an objective morality, JB; it’s hand waving at some ethereal plane of existence. Define the moral law, please that you insist can be objectively known by believing in your god.

        Like

  5. Here’s Ted Bundy’s quote again. (Boy, I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this lately!)

    All I can say is Thank Evolution the majority of people don’t “feel” this way… (At least, not yet. We’ll see what our evolutionary future holds…)

    “…I learned that all moral judgments are “value judgments,” that all value judgments are subjective, and that none can be proved to be either “right” or “wrong”….I discovered that to become truly free, truly unfettered, I had to become truly uninhibited. And I quickly discovered that the greatest obstacle to my freedom, the greatest block and limitation to it, consists in the insupportable “value judgment” that I was bound to respect the rights of others. I asked myself, who were these “others”? Other human beings, with human rights? Why is it more wrong to kill a human animal than any other animal, a pig or a sheep or a steer? Is your life more to you than a hog’s life to a hog? Why should I be willing to sacrifice my pleasure more for the one than for the other? Surely, you would not, in this age of scientific enlightenment, declare that God or nature has marked some pleasures as “moral” or “good” and others as “immoral” or “bad”? In any case, let me assure you, my dear young lady, that there is absolutely no comparison between the pleasure I might take in eating ham and the pleasure I anticipate in raping and murdering you. That is the honest conclusion to which my education has led me—after the most conscientious examination of my spontaneous and uninhibited self.” –Bundy

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The fact that JZ has been allowed to post completely without restriction for almost a year has been a privilege. He has vomited all over the floor, whenever he felt like it–and wasn’t even blocked when he posted a pornographic picture.

    I’m tired of the loaded questions designed just to be a nuisance, and not actually to dialog.

    Like

    1. JZ: So since YOU SAID “__________,” then how do you explain THIS?

      Christian: I never said that.

      JZ: PLEASE JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION WITHOUT YOUR SONG AND DANCE!

      Christian: Your question is built on a false premise.

      JZ: PLEASE JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION WITHOUT YOUR SONG AND DANCE!

      Christian: Hey, we’re trying to have a conversation here, and you’re being a jackass.

      JZ: PLEASE JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION WITHOUT YOUR SONG AND DANCE!

      Christian: (*I’ll just ignore him*)

      JZ: ….HELLO?! You haven’t answered! You must be embarrassed! Here’s a picture of Jesus, naked.

      ——-

      Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. But, I’m ready to deal with a new idiot.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I am glad to see you finally banned JZ. Like you, I tolerated him for a year until he outlived his welcome. For me, the final straw was this.

      “But my point stands: with that type of deranged, psychotic thinking, James (and whomever else agreed with his post) would happily walk into a women’s health clinic and gleefully murder people, just like their Christian-terrorist brother did the other day. These people are ISIS on paved streets.”

      He willingly placed himself beyond the pale of civil discourse and he should be shunned.

      Granted, it won’t be as interesting around here for a while but you will be better off.

      James

      Like

      1. I didn’t actually ban him.

        I just sent several comments to spam (all of which can be seen somewhere in the thread still, because he was just copying-and-pasting the same comment over and over, which I had already explained were worthless, loaded questions.)

        So–I got rid of some of the redundancy.

        Like

      2. I’m actually having a pow-wow with my dad right now to decide how to move forward.

        I like having them around to display the futility of godless minds… but, when they clog up the comment section with nothing but repetition, it actually makes it harder for people to find the stupidity! They bury the stupidity with more stupidity! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I liked having them around for the same reason but their constant presence and 300 ridiculous comments a day they demand replies to became too much.

        Besides Zande outright told me I was no better than a murderer, then doubled down when challenged.

        Debate is fine but they are absurd haters and not worth the time.

        Not trying to tell you what to do, btw, just my two cents.

        Like

      4. I appreciate it.
        I think we’ve decided all of them will get one answer, one time. But, as soon as they start the repetition, their extra comments will go to spam.

        If you let the children take over, they will burn down the house.

        Like

    1. I didn’t mention a specific name for God. (When I do, I call God “Frank.”)

      I know God desires for us to have a relationship with him because I’ve used logic and reasoning to put the pieces together. As Silence explained to you on his blog–it will not make sense until you learn to think rationally. Once you realize there IS a God, it will become more obvious what He wants from you.

      Like

      1. I am quite willing to accept that there might be a creator -although I do not beleive in one based on the evidence presented so far – and it is impossible at this stage to rule one out, as it is also impossible to categorically state there is one.
        What I am concerned with is your absolute certainty that there is a creator god and you appear to know the will of your god.
        I want you to explain how you know these things?

        Like

      2. I have deduced my belief in God rationally, by listening to anyone and everyone who offers their opinion to me.

        The religious positions make the most sense across the whole of life. (They are the only ones which allow us to make statements about right/wrong.) Consistent Atheists don’t have objective truth.

        Like

      3. Ark–you are doing that thing where you’re asking questions I’ve already done my best to answer in other threads.

        You’re bored and demanding conversation about something–anything–even though you cannot understand this.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Fine. Let’s accept that you CAN understand.

        Therefore, explain how you know that the creator deity, ”Frank” wishes to have a relationship with you, amanda?

        Like

      5. I have tried to “explain” many things to you, many times. That’s how I know you’re not able to understand.

        I won’t be responding to you on this thread anymore. Again, as Silence already said, this is a conversation for reasonable people… Feel free to keep watching and listening, to learn how to reason. Or you can go back and read where we’ve had the same conversation before:

        https://branyancomedy.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/no-paintbrush-ever-changed-a-tire/comment-page-1/#comment-3131

        Like

    2. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

      Christ Jesus: …And this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

      Eternal life is intimacy/relationship with the Father and Christ Jesus.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In reality, I had not refreshed my page… so that was the last comment I saw 🙂

        But I would have still responded the same way because it matters not what your response to Ark is. He doesn’t know up from down.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Don’t you get tired of this Ark?

        You are so lost, you keep looking, but sadly, you have no idea what it is you’re looking for anymore.

        You have neglected your #1 stewardship – to guard your heart with all diligence. So now it has become heavily calloused from your incessant scorn, mockery, denial and blasphemy.

        You have rejected wisdom… now wisdom laughs at your calamity.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. So, you make a truth claim yet are unable to support it.

        If you are unable to back your claim with evidence than why should I even consider anything you say?
        How do I differentiate the ramblings of someone who may be delusional to that of a one who really is having a personal relationship with a deity?
        Why should I not beleive a Catholic instead of a Protestant like you, for example?

        Like

      4. “How do I differentiate the ramblings of someone who may be delusional to that of one who really is having a personal relationship with a deity?”

        Oh, that’s easy! Just ask a psychiatrist or neurologist! They always know who’s crazy and who isn’t. 🙂

        And, if your doc recommends a med change, go with it. Once he’s done, you’ll be fine to spend the rest of your life watching sports and taking pictures of bugs mating.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Would beating your father over the head with a hammer count as being in need of a psychiatrist?
        How about contemplating suicide by firearm?
        Would you, as one who considers themself a rational, logical person take advice on these matters from either of the examples above, amanda?

        Like

      6. Oops. You’re still asking questions with your broken, unreasonable mind.

        Ask Frank to open your eyes and give you some clarity. You can’t do this alone.

        Like

      7. And we are back to obfuscation and being disingenuous.
        You really are so very good at this are you not?
        One might almost suspect you do it on purpose; as if you were telling lies even.
        You asked questions which is how you discovered your god wanted a relationship with you.
        Why then do you refuse to answer the questions i ask?

        Like

  7. I see this post has also been inundated with comments, so mine might get lost in the oceans here. Nonetheless, I’d like to add my thoughts, especially on your presentation of my input.

    It is almost exactly as I suggested in a previous thread — the discussions here are just for you to mine for quotes. You present me as someone who thinks morality is too complex to engage with. That’s a position that would lead to a sort of ‘practical relativism’ i.e. putting in ones best guess and treating it as equally valid to someone else’ competing best guess — because no one knows.

    However, that wasn’t my position, was it? My position was this: because you can’t demonstrate an ability to represent a view expressed to you honestly, what you do demonstrate is that you are not engaging with what is being explained to you. If the goal is to have a sincere conversation, and the explanation requires effort, then this clearly isn’t the place to expend that effort — because it’s not feeding an honest conversation.

    (At this stage, I’m suddenly aware that Amanda accuses me of being verbose, as if taking the effort to add a few words for the sake of clarity is some sort of sin. I therefore challenge her to shorten this entire comment, without losing the nuance.)

    My point was that to discuss why slavery is wrong, one must first discuss what morality is (https://goo.gl/DfAIWl, https://goo.gl/7zSjQP), how it functions (https://goo.gl/GfFBxL), in what sense it may be true (https://goo.gl/xewNHR), and whether any moral system needs an error correction mechanism (I haven’t thought much about that bit). That’s a nuanced position. It is only once one has derived some principles from those conversations that one can meaningfully say slavery is wrong. Without covering all the groundwork first, it sounds like someone is basing their view on some personal preference.

    And, indeed, that is the position you think people hold, because you are refusing to engage with the ground work. You think people are merely shilling from the status quo or praying to some arbitrary value, when actually some of us actually have defences of our position.

    For the record, I think the safeguarding of maximal wellbeing is the value people mean by morality (even some religious people’s defence of God atrocities ultimately guess that God is also working towards maximal wellbeing — just with more information than us; some other religious people even make wellbeing their founding assumption in trying to understand what the Bible means and which bits don’t apply any more; others even say that’s the value God must be in favour of, because that’s what it means to be all loving; my point is that I’m not even at odds with all that many religious people here, although I reach the conclusion via a very different process).

    As to the general feel of this post, whose job would it be to decide whether a person has answered the question well enough to not be a slave? Are we leaving that decision to the person who really wants to have a slave? And are Christians who can’t answer the question also fair game for being a slave? And who decides whether they’ve answered the question well enough? Some religious liberal who is already convinced ‘God = the abolition of slavery’? (This is the error correction problem I allude to.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The decision of who gets enslaved will be decided by majority rule, just as all of our standards are–completely meaningless and arbitrary, until some group decides to call it “right” and it begins to catch on. Eventually, the majority of the population is able to convince the minority of dissenters that they are not just different, but actually mentally ill!

      So, you see, all we’d need to do is get “God-Denialism” listed in the DSM. And–ta-dah–all Atheists are slaves. It’s genius.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Why can’t we switch whenever we feel like it?

        The batch of Atheists featured in this post have already crossed that line where they won’t agree with anything either of us says–for any reason.

        When we get new commenters, each of us can spend some time laying out the Theist position. But, eventually, I don’t think it matters who says what. They stop engaging and start crying instead. (“Oh, if you just read all 8 Million of my words, I would make total sense!”

        Like

      2. “You WON’T read my 8 million word post? You are being willfully ignorant!”

        What’s amazing is that NONE of them will stand up and say, “Yes! Morality is totally arbitrary. So what?” Instead, they try to convince us that subjective morality is good enough. And when we disagree, they accuse us of true, objective, immorality.

        Like

      3. Allallt challenged me to shorten his comment.

        How could I resist?!

        —-
        “You don’t represent my views fairly. People need to read every word of my Walls-of-Text to understand my perspective. My comments are NUANCED!

        But it’s not that I think morality is too complex to understand. Just come to my blog. It will make total sense there. And, if it doesn’t, that’s your fault for not really engaging honestly. To explain why slavery is wrong, I NEED to ask at least four other questions to define terms, and at no point can you accuse me of dancing around the issue.

        I’m not just diverting. I actually have a defense for my position! Really, I do.
        I simply need more than the 600 words I’ve used in this comment to explain better.

        For the record, I think the safeguarding of maximal wellbeing is the value people mean by “morality.” But, if you suggest this position sounds like majority rules, then I quit.

        Boo-hoo.”

        Like

      4. I’m re-reading Brave New World.

        You could be right, of course. Whoever gets the technology and power first will use it to exterminate the beliefs of the other.

        So, may the most ambitious side win! Cheers!

        Like

    2. 591 words (but whose counting?). The bulk of your response is complaints about how you are misrepresented and questioning my integrity for writing the post.

      “For the record, I think the safeguarding of maximal wellbeing is the value people mean by morality…”
      Straight out of Sam Harris’ book. You are aware that Harris refutes his own argument at the end of the book. Aside from that, ‘wellbeing’ is still a subjective term. There is no objective way to measure well-being.

      “…point is that I’m not even at odds with all that many religious people here, although I reach the conclusion via a very different process.”
      Indeed. You are trying to arrive at objective morality without an objective moral standard which is the point of the post! You are at odds with every religious person who believes in a transcendent moral law giver!

      Your problem remains that you refuse to discuss the possible sources for the objective morality YOU ALREADY KNOW exists. Why bother showing up to defend your views if you didn’t believe it was absolutely wrong to be misrepresented?

      You understand the article is satire? I hope you don’t think I seriously suggested enslaving pagans. It would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to justify owning slaves because I believe slavery is objectively wrong. It violates a commandment of God. Apparently, slavery also violates your conscience. Isn’t that a strange coincidence…

      Like

      1. I’m still going to enslave Allallt.

        I started re-reading Brave New World a couple nights ago, so I’m refreshing my mind regarding exactly how to do it. 🙂

        Like

      2. There is no objective way to measure well-being

        Are you talking in principle or in practical terms? Depending on which answer you give, you’re different types of wrong.

        You are aware that Harris refutes his own argument at the end of the book.

        We’ve discussed this: the passage you are referring to appears out of context and simply contradicts the rest of this thesis. It does not refute it.

        It would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to justify owning slaves because I believe slavery is objectively wrong. It violates a commandment of God. Apparently, slavery also violates your conscience. Isn’t that a strange coincidence…

        Interesting. I don’t know what command from the Bible you think it violates. I also think the Texas Sharp Shooter approach to the discussion isn’t helpful; I disagree with a lot of the commands — and I disagree that the moral truth is defined by decree.

        You also don’t deal with all that much of the content of my comment.

        Like

      3. How about the part where I say that this conversation requires that one honestly engaging with the groundwork (understanding morality) before one gets into why slavery is wrong.

        Like

      4. I couldn’t agree more.
        I thought the entire was discussion was for the purpose of gaining understanding about morality. Is there something else I need to know before we can discuss slavery?

        Like

      5. So, slavery is ‘quite complex’ and requires ‘extra research’.

        Plus, I’m probably too stupid to understand the answer.

        Morality is so complicated that some pagans need research and data to know what’s ‘right’.

        Like

      6. Your comment in the post suggests I think slavery is the complex bit. But it’s not; I think morality is the complex bit. But shifting around like that, you’re constantly missing the discussion.

        Not that it matters to you, because you’re only here to collect screenshots for your next ‘satire’.

        There’s a conversation to be had about what it means for something to be ‘true’, as one of my linked posts discusses. And, in terms of function, this one also does (https://goo.gl/ueRJeM)

        Like

      7. Really? We’re playing this scene again? I can see that you’ve clicked the links I sent to you. So do you really want me to write them all out again, here?

        Like

  8. JB, you posted the hypothesis, “…that since pagans have no fixed standard of morality, we could enslave them. Pagans can’t give a reason why slavery is absolutely wrong.”

    So I asked, quite reasonably, I think, “If you could define this ‘objective morality’ for us heathens and lay out the rules without using religious mumbo jumbo or any reference to all the ‘subjectivity’ you criticize, that might help, JB.”

    Now, JZ immediately predicted that, “that’s going to be a long, long, long wait. But here’s a prediction: Branyan will embark on a diversionary song and dance, never once answering the question.” He calls this diversionary tactic the “typical Branyan ONE-HUNDRED-COMMENT-DIVERSION-SONG-AND-DANCE.”

    Hundreds of comments later (it now stands at 239), with thousands of words written by you, JB and your daughter Amanda – mrsmcmommy – you have not answered what should be a very simple question: define what this “objective morality” is without referring to religious mumbo jumbo, such as some imaginary a ‘transcendental’ divine agency in whose image we supposedly are ‘made’ (does a transcendental being even have an image? Says who? Based on what? Mumbo Jumbo!).

    Now, I said to JZ that I thought, “There is no such set of rules – some ‘objective morality – he (meaning you, JB) can point to that is not completely obscured by nebulous religious language that is as meaningless on its own as it is convenient to presume. That’s all his argument is: presumption.”

    He was right.

    I was right.

    You cannot say what this “fixed standard of morality” actually is, can you JB? And that’s the truth. You can’t stand the truth.

    So you blow wind.

    You call people names who ask you to shit or get off the pot and who dare to point out that that’s all you’re doing – blowing wind and calling it pious. You don’t engage honestly. Nor does your daughter. It’s more like an incestuous blow-fest between you and your daughter congratulating each other for a job well done, diverting, obscuring, misrepresenting, vilifying, refusing to engage honestly with criticisms of ideas you hold as true that, if true, are actually quite important. But you utterly fail to handle the criticisms in a responsible and adult way. Every time.

    Allallt astutely observed that, “what you (JB and your daughter Amanda) do demonstrate is that you are not engaging with what is being explained to you. If the goal is to have a sincere conversation, and the explanation requires effort, then this clearly isn’t the place to expend that effort — because it’s not feeding an honest conversation.

    Again, Exactly right.

    You JB and Amanda have absolutely no desire to have a conversation, to offer your claims with anything that contains intellectual integrity or reasonable explanation. Youj have no intention of accommodating criticisms. That’s not what you do. What you do every time is try belittle your intellectual superiors, those who actually try to think and respect what is true; instead you expend effort congratulating each other for lying, for bearing false witness, for vilifying others, for using pettiness and vindictiveness and then quote mining similar responses as justification for your comments… comments by you that reveal your deplorable characters.

    Like

    1. You’re next in moderation, Tildeb.

      I answered your stupid, loaded questions.

      I said, to Mooseman, “If they want a ‘list’ of objective moral behavior, there is just one: put others first.” This makes sense only if that law was built into the Universe. If you keep demanding that other people “agree” with this standard, it’s no longer objective.

      Like

      1. The sense of reciprocity comes from our biology and is shared by many other critters. This is demonstrable. You using this sense to ‘define’ an objective moral law from a divine law giver is without any merit other than your bald-faced assertion. By definition, this sense is dependent on the biology one has. That dependence on the self by definition makes it subjective and not, as you seem to think, objective.

        So, no. You have not answered my question. You’ve merely substituted biology for your ‘divine’ – and, according to your dad, transcendental – moral law giver and waved toward it as if this does the job of defining an objective moral law. But what you’ve failed to do is demonstrate its ‘objective’ source… without which you cannot possibly be moral… according to your dad.

        And fuck off with the threatening of censoring bullshit. The tone of commentary is set by you and your dad. You cast your bread upon the waters and you get it back in kind. If there’s any censoring to be done, look first to yourself and father and stop with all the vindictive and petty bullshit you cast.

        Like

      1. Those are not my thoughts. Those are thoughts you have imposed on me and then you choose to believe them as if they are true independent of you. This is epistemological failure of how to comprehend.

        In effect, and in term you might understand, you are making shit up, smearing others with it, and then insisting that they stink. But rather that try to improve your ability to first comprehend what others really think and before you respond so that your commentary is intelligible and relevant, you start counting words like a child and think the number somehow reflects their quality. Coime on, Amanda… start acting like a grown-up.

        Like

      2. Yes, you’ve said that before.

        And–after I began asking you direct, follow-up questions–you engaged in a months-long silent treatment.

        To continue making snipe attacks at me (in comments made to other people), and then claim *I* am the one uninterested in dialog and making shit up will not be tolerated any longer.

        If you have a problem with my character, then you have to demonstrate your opinion is objectively right.

        Like

  9. I answered your stupid, loaded questions.

    As you have so far been unable to offer a specific definition of objective morality that referenced your god as its source how then is Tildeb asking for a definition of objective morality without referring in any way to your god a loaded – question?

    If you cannot seem to clarify this in straightforward simple terms you can excuse us for suspecting you are unable to explain in such a fashion that even you can understand and you re simply taking it on ”faith”, as in: ”We Believe in Jesus and that is all that is required to answer the non-believer.”

    Liked by 1 person

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