Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bring It: Does The Bible Describe Current Times?

For this installment, Let's consider if the Bible describes the current world accurately? This comes up because Ryan Anderson disagrees with what a statement I made when I posted a quote from Dr Carl Sagan at the following link.

What had happen' was.....: Carl Sagan Quote Worth Consideration!

I had remarked about how chillingly accurate Sagan described our present day and that the Bible said the same thing. Ryan Anderson disagreed and when I said if he understood the Bible as he claims to he must know what scripture passages to which I refer. He said:


I have my suspicions, but I'd like you to commit so we can dissect exactly how easy it is to read anything into loose language.


Sounds fun. Alright, let us commit. There are so many passages to choose from, but let's pick one. Just so that he understands what the challenge is let's state it clearly: Demonstrate how the following scripture referred to below does not describe the world we live in today. For example:


1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. 2 Timothy 3:1-9

Let's make this really fun and open this up to everyone. Feel free suggest other Bible passages or state your own reasons that the passages chosen don't describe I world today. Go ahead. Take your best shot.

[UPDATE - 12-03-2011]


Ryan Anderson and Johnny P have both attempted to argue that 2 Timothy 3:1-9 does not apply today because these are not the "last days". Of course they both think that Paul and the other first generation Christians believed Jesus would return in their lifetimes. I fail to understand why that matters. Jesus did not say that he would return before the end of the first century, but they would have been stupid to not live like Jesus would imminently return just like Christians are stupid today if we don't. That is if we believe what we say we believe.




Notice what the Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:1.One of the arguments unbelievers rely on is the idea that God can't exist and be what Christians believe about him and their exist evil and suffering. But Johnny P has to mitigate that if he wants to argue that these days are not the last days. Are they terrible days or not? If it is, then you have to look further into Paul's argument. If it isn't, then you can't invoke the Problem of  Evil against Theism.




Verses 2-5 perfectly describe the evil in the world today and it is getting worse. They describe Congress alone, let alone the rest of the world!
 




Verses 6-9 I think applies more to the Church than the world. The world ignores a lot of teaching instructing - the godless and otherwise. What is the most telling is how we have so many clergy teaching one things living something else. 



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132 comments:

  1. So you posted a verse, said it applies to current times, but don't describe why you think it does. Great work...

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  2. The challenge is for you to show that it doesn't. Try to keep up.

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  3. You said you wanted a commitment to a passage and that you could show that you can read anything into it. Good luck.

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  4. Ah, again with the "You can't prove it doesn't".

    Why do you think the above passage applies?

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  5. You first. The burden of proof is on you. You claimed that it doesn't describe what is happening now. Either demonstrate it doesn't, agree that it does, or admit that you don't understand what the passage says.

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  6. You first. The burden of proof is on you.

    You are absolutely correct, but not for the reasons you think (no surprise). I made a positive claim, something like "You are a complete jackhole whose desire to believe has caused your critical faculties to declined to the point where you can read anything into anything and I'd like you to commit to a specific verse so we can dissect exactly how easy it is for you to read anything into loose language."

    You've committed to a verse, but we still need to know why you think that verse applies to the today and not only to 1st century Judea.

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  7. Why would you think that I don't know why the burden of proof is on you? If you are making a claim you ought to be able to back it up or withdraw it. And by your own admission you are indeed making a claim - a stupid one - but a claim nonetheless.

    Your claim doesn't require me to do anything. It doesn't matter why I think the passage I quoted describes the 21st century today if you are right that it doesn't. I believe in objective truth. If Paul's writing applies today it doesn't matter what you or I think. It applies or it doesn't. You claimed that you could show that it doesn't. I'm waiting.

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  8. My interest lies in why you think it applies. If you have no interest in explaining then we're done here.

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  9. My interest lies in why you think it applies. If you have no interest in explaining then we're done here.


    You said you could demonstrate that a passage I picked did not describe the world today. I am interested in why you think it doesn't apply. And why you think it doesn't apply has no dependence on why I say it does. We both can't be right. And if you are unable to demonstrate how 2 Timothy 3:1-9, then we are indeed done here. The ball is in your court.

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  10. You said you could demonstrate that a passage I picked did not describe the world today.

    Actualy what I said was "I'd like you to commit so we can dissect exactly how easy it is to read anything into loose language".

    To start dissecting exactly how easy it is to read anything into loose language I'd like you to explain first why you think the language can apply.

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  11. But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.

    Because it's not the last days. Now, let's dissecting exactly how easy it is to read anything into loose language so now explain why you think this scripture applies.

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  12. LOL


    How do you know it's not the last days? Demonstrate that it's not. Keep trying.

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  13. It's no more the last days than it was in 33 ce, 473 ce, 1312 ce, 1848 ce or 1939 ce. Keep trying.

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  14. Last I checked, Biblical Christians have believed its been the last days since Jesus ascended and it's been down hill since. 2000 years is a relatively short amount of time.

    That doesn't help your case, but supports that the passage can bee applied today. I thought you were trying.

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  15. 2000 years is a relatively short amount of time.

    It's also a relatively long time.

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  16. Simple yes or no, are you going to explain, in your own words, why you think that passage specifically applies to 2011 Western Civilization*?

    *or are you not willing to get that specific?

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  17. I had said:
    2000 years is a relatively short
    amount of time.


    Ryan Anderson replied:
    It's also a relatively long time.

    Just how negligible is 2000 years compared to the age of the earth? Extremely. Round the numbers to the nearest billion

    2000 yrs = 2.0 time ten to the negative 6 billion years.

    Subtract that from the age of the earth rounded to nearest billion you get 4.5 times ten to the nine - 2000 years = 4.5 times ten to the nine.

    Yup. Makes a big difference.

    Simple yes or no, are you going to explain, in your own words, why you think that passage specifically applies to 2011 Western Civilization*?

    *or are you not willing to get that specific?

    Yes, I am going to explain in my own words why I know that 2 Timothy 3:1-9 applies specifically to 2011 Western Civilization** once you explain in your own words why it doesn't.

    **So far you have been able to offer nothing substantial but insult. No surprise.

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  18. Wow, you can do math. Note I said "It's also a relatively long time."

    So even with your impressive display of basic arithmetic, you apparently don't know what the English word "relative" and "also" mean.

    ...once you explain in your own words why it doesn't.

    See comment from 11/25 at 5:34pm. Your turn. Or are you chicken?

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  19. Wow, you can do math. Note I said "It's also a relatively long time."


    Relative to what?

    So even with your impressive display of basic arithmetic, you apparently don't know what the English word "relative" and "also" mean.

    Obviously more impressive than yours. That's why I kept it simple. The context of "Relative" is either the age of the earth or the age of the universe as we know it. Either way of looking at it means 2000 years is extremely small and should be beneath you even bringing it up.

    ...once you explain in your own words why it doesn't.

    See comment from 11/25 at 5:34pm. Your turn. Or are you chicken?

    You did understand that I wanted something substantive with a premise, details, evidence, and conclusion? You're still up. You should have been able to demonstrate that these are not the last days in away I can't easily be dismissed. Something real this time if you please. Actually try this time.

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  20. Relative to what?

    Anything shorter. Duh.

    So no, you aren't going to explain, ok. Have a good rest of your weekend.

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  21. That's not what I said. You have failed to explain why 2 Timothy 3:1-9 does not describe today. You've given me no reason to think you are willing or able to dissect this issue at all.

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  22. Give me a reason.

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  23. I told you. You made a claim. Back it up

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  24. Ahhh...back to name-calling. Your go-to-stance when you have no cogent argument. It'd be a waste of my time to write out my viewpoint given your inability to articulate your own.

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  25. My argument is dependent upon your explanation. I'm waiting...

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  26. My argument is dependent upon your explanation. I'm waiting...

    That is probably the most stupid comment you have ever posted that I had the unfortunate experience of reading.

    Does the truth of whether or not 2 Timothy 3:1-9 describes the world today really depend on my argument? If you know what you are talking about you ought to be able to show the passage doesn't describe the world today no matter what I say or think about it.....that is if your claim is true. I thought higher of you. Thank you for proving me wrong.

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  27. Does the truth of whether or not 2 Timothy 3:1-9 describes the world today really depend on my argument?

    Why you think it applies is dependent upon your argument. Why you think it applies is my only real interest here. Still waiting, but at this point, I'm assuming you can't support your assertion that it applies.

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  28. Why you think it applies is dependent upon your argument. Why you think it applies is my only real interest here. Still waiting, but at this point, I'm assuming you can't support your assertion that it applies.

    I want to see you demonstrate that it doesn't. And if you are right then you are right irregardless of what I say. I can demonstrate you are wrong, but I'd like to see you flounder first. It'll be very entertaining. For example your first "attempt" was hilarious. Worries me that you were serious however.

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  29. See comment from 11/25 at 5:34pm. Your turn. Or are you chicken?

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  30. As I said: You seriously want to base your reasoning on that which has already crumbled? I want a serious response.

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  31. I want a serious response.

    I'll be waiting for one from you.

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  32. See comment from 11/25 at 5:34pm. Your turn. Or are you chicken?

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  33. Let's make this really fun and open this up to everyone.

    Also, the response was overwhelming. Good thing you've got all that tracking code bogging down this blogspot site.

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  34. That's not a turn. That's a faceplant. I want better.

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  35. Tough. Your turn, for the love of pete!

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  36. When u provide better than a faceplant, I will give my reasons why 2 Timothy 3:1-9 describes today.

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  37. This is bad. This no more refers to now as to 100, 200, 300, 400 , 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900 or 2000, let alone any time in the future.

    The last days were predicted for that generation then. They didn't come, and it can be applied to any generation from then on. Incorrectly.

    It COULD apply to now, but only in a random sense. It could have applied to any time in the past, but didn't. We are presently in:
    The LEAST violent stage of human history
    The greatest stage of human rights in history
    The greatest medical period in human history
    The greatest period of knowledge in human history

    and so on.

    So it can be better argued that we are further away from this picture of end times painted in 2 Timothy that at any time since it was written.

    As such, Marcus, the burden of proof really is on you. it is a passage that gives absolutely no indication that it refers to today and no other time.

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  38. This is bad. This no more refers to now as to 100, 200, 300, 400 , 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900 or 2000, let alone any time in the future.

    The last days were predicted for that generation then. They didn't come, and it can be applied to any generation from then on. Incorrectly.


    Bold Claim. Yet Johnny P says nothing to prove it. Assertion upon assertion. Typical.

    It COULD apply to now, but only in a random sense.

    So it could apply to now but Johnny P says nothing to show why it has to be a "random sense".

    It could have applied to any time in the past, but didn't.

    And how does he know that

    We are presently in:
    The LEAST violent stage of human history


    Spoken like an ignorant Westerner. It's like Johnny P didn't read a history book or seems to have forgotten that more people died in wars and genocide in the past 111 years than at any previous time in history.

    The greatest stage of human rights in history

    And how does that conflict with anything the verse says? IT doesn't

    The greatest medical period in human history

    And how does that conflict with anything the verse says? IT doesn't

    The greatest period of knowledge in human history.

    Also a description the Bible gives to the Last Days. Uh...I thought Johnny P said he knows the Bible. Guess not.

    and so on.

    So it can be better argued that we are further away from this picture of end times painted in 2 Timothy that at any time since it was written.


    So which is it? There is so much evil in the world and suffering there can't be a good God or there world really isn't as bad as it was when 2 Timothy was written? You can't have it both ways. Johnny P should pick an argument and stick to it and not change it when its convenient.

    As such, Marcus, the burden of proof really is on you. it is a passage that gives absolutely no indication that it refers to today and no other time.

    Well for once Johnny P has wrote a more substantive comment than Ryan Anderson. Knew it would happen at some point. Laws of averages being what they are. At least Johnny P actually, but ineptly, engaged with what the text says. I was waiting until someone actually said why they think that the text does not describe today so I will be updating this post in the coming hours.

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  39. Yet again, all you say is utter assertion, or simply wrong. You accuse me of asserting, when that was my accusation to you. You can use this quote to assert claims of end days to other times BECAUSE OTHERS ALREADY HAVE!!!! See from the Millerites onwards.

    "The LEAST violent stage of human history

    Spoken like an ignorant Westerner. It's like Johnny P didn't read a history book or seems to have forgotten that more people died in wars and genocide in the past 111 years than at any previous time in history."

    This is why you're a fool. You give such stupid criticisms without knowing what you are on about. Go read more. Start with Steven Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes".

    Stop making trite, shitty assertions unless you have evidence or reading to back it up. "Pacification is complemented by a normative shift: the humanitarian and rights revolutions. The humanitarian revolutions arose out of the rationalist and Enlightenment philosophies that inspected established practices in the light of reason, and demanded justifications for the supposed goods these practices were supposed to serve. The rights revolutions of the second half of the 20th Century, with campaigns for sexual and racial equality, to curb violence against women and children and even animals, cemented earlier accomplishments.

    So the decline of violence is two fold. It's down to institutions in part but it's also down to moral progress, a widening of the circle of empathy and sympathy. Empathy alone is not enough. One can have plenty of empathy and sympathy for those of one's own tribe, but still embark on a dawn raid against the neighbouring tribe on the other side of the river and think oneself no worse for it. The testimonies of former slaves did much to turn opinion against the institution in the 18th and 19th Centuries for example. But for this to happen, reason needs to make the bridge and subject oppressive and violent practices to critical scrutiny."

    "So which is it? There is so much evil in the world and suffering there can't be a good God or there world really isn't as bad as it was "

    Well done, Marcus. I was talking about Natural Evil in that whole conversation. You really don't have a clue.

    You have not made ANY ARGUMENT WHATSOEVER to show that the verse applies to now, and not any time in the past or future. In fact, your problem is that you cannot read the future, and that is actually, by definition, when the last days is going to happen.

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  40. How do you get away with running a blog and pronouncing so much tripe when you patently haven't read nearly enough on any of the subjects you pronounce upon?

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  41. Again Johnny P does not know anything about what Christians believe. It's been the last days since Jesus ascended to Heaven since the Resurrection. The Bible doesn't say how many last days there are.

    Also, Theodicy must cover natural disasters and human evil. All of my discussions on Theodicy cover both.

    You'd be hard press to find anyone credible and with a brain would seriously argue that there have not been more wars or violence in the past 111 years than the whole of recorded history. Are you really able to go on record and make that argument? Go ahead and try.

    Get a grip.

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  42. What a bollocks reply.

    1) didn't address anything i said.
    2) implicitly admitted that he was wrong in accusing me of not cohering across points when in the other discussion i was referring to natural evil
    3) doesn't understand that with more people and more countries, higher populations and better recording and reporting, that frequency might appear higher, though per person would be lower.
    4) provides no citations or evidence for his claims on violence. I have at least referred to an academic work that has received unanimously great reviews.

    "This is a huge book, but as Pinker says, it is a huge subject. He organizes himself by lists. First, there are six significant trends which have led to a decrease in violence.
    1. Our evolution from hunter gatherers into settled civilizations, which he calls the Pacification Process.
    2. The consolidation of small kingdoms and duchies into large kingdoms with centralized authority and commerce, which he calls the Civilizing Process.
    3. The emergence of Enlightenment philosophy, and it's respect for the individual through what he calls the Humanitarian Revolution.
    4. Since World War II, violence has been suppressed, first by the overwhelming force of the two parties in the Cold War, and more recently by the American hegemony. Pinker calls this the Long Peace.
    5. The general trend, even apart from the Cold War, of wars to be more infrequent, and less violent, however autocratic and anti-democratic the governments may be. Call this the New Peace.
    6. Lastly, the growth of peace and domestic societies, and with it the diminishing level of violence through small things like schoolyard fights, bullying, and picking on gays and minorities. He titles this the Rights Revolution."

    or

    ""The Better Angels of Our Nature" assiduously justifies its subtitular contention: violence really has declined, and now it's not so hard to see why. Steven Pinker has assembled vast quantities of data to support his position, sourced in turn by the assemblies of other preeminent scholars in ethnography, anthropology, and the history of man. Add to this a trove of lab-tested social psychology, game theory, and the areas of Pinker's own expertise in cognitive psychology. The resulting dissertation, structured with the incredible skill and forethought that define Steven Pinker's books, sums these component analyses into the rational juggernaut needed to upend the conventional wisdom it is up against. Though consistently dispassionate in tone and bearing throughout, the title of this book betrays its emotional impact: optimism for humanity."

    Again, you have been schooled. Do some research.

    Start with the Scientific American.

    "I was struck by a graph I saw of homicide rates in British towns and cities going back to the 14th century. The rates had plummeted by between 30 and 100-fold. That stuck with me, because you tend to have an image of medieval times with happy peasants coexisting in close-knit communities, whereas we think of the present as filled with school shootings and mugging and terrorist attacks.

    Then in Lawrence Keeley’s 1996 book War Before Civilization I read that modern states at their worst, such as Germany in the 20th century or France in the 19th century, had rates of death in warfare that were dwarfed by those of hunter-gatherer and hunter-horticultural societies. That too, is of profound significance in terms of our understanding of the costs and benefits of civilisation." (New Scientist)

    Or you could check the Correlates of War website.

    Or see Riane Eisler's "The Battle Over Human Possibilities: Women, Men and Cultural Transformation".
    Etc Etc.

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  43. 1) didn't address anything i said.


    Is English not your primary language?

    2) implicitly admitted that he was wrong in accusing me of not cohering across points when in the other discussion i was referring to natural evil

    How can I both not "address anything you say" and implicitly agree that I falsely accuse you of "not cohering across point". They both can't be true. And all the discussions as I understood it we were talking about both natural disasters and human evil. I was constantly talking about both. You fudged and was non-committal on human behavior and only gave examples of natural disasters. I have consistently done both.

    3) doesn't understand that with more people and more countries, higher populations and better recording and reporting, that frequency might appear higher, though per person would be lower.

    Nice attempted dodge. But I was never talking about per person but for the whole of our species. More people and more countries equate to more more evil, more immorality, and more problems. Thanks for making my point.

    4) provides no citations or evidence for his claims on violence. I have at least referred to an academic work that has received unanimously great reviews.

    Just turn on CNN. Ask someone who is from a third world country. There are over 100 armed conflicts happening right now. If you want cited sources then first admit that you(unambiguously) think that human violence and suffering is/has decreased. You do that and I'll inundate you with sources showing how dumb a thought that is. I thought that you were at least intelligent enough to come to that conclusion from just what a normal person knows about current events and world history.

    You, sir, have faceplanted yet again.

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  44. "Just turn on CNN."


    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA AH AHHA HA AHHA HAH HA AH A HAH AHAH!!!!!

    Brilliant academic response. And you watched CNN in 1250 or 1415 to do a fair test? And the watching of CNN is an academic piece of research. did it conclude anything using relevant historical data?

    Now plese show me research done by relevant academics. That was a very poor reply.

    "More people and more countries equate to more more evil, more immorality, and more problems. Thanks for making my point."

    DON'T EVER TAKE UP STATS AS A SUBJECT.

    "I was constantly talking about both."

    Er, it was my post we are talking about. i know what I was talking about, and you made accusations on what I was talking about. You couldn't backtrack your way out of your own garage.

    "There are over 100 armed conflicts happening right now."

    Can you tell me how many armed conflicts were going on in the entire world in 1250, 1500, 850? You see, stats works like this: you have 7 billion people in the world, with over 100 armed conflicts; you have 7 million people in the world, and 50 armed conflicts. On those stats, the world with 7 million is more violent, because you can only compare frequency on a per unit basis. 1 AC in every 70 million compared with 1 in every 140,000.

    Huff Post:

    " The number of people killed in battle – calculated per 100,000 population – has dropped by 1,000-fold over the centuries as civilizations evolved. Before there were organized countries, battles killed on average more than 500 out of every 100,000 people. In 19th century France, it was 70. In the 20th century with two world wars and a few genocides, it was 60. Now battlefield deaths are down to three-tenths of a person per 100,000.

    The rate of genocide deaths per world population was 1,400 times higher in 1942 than in 2008.

    _ There were fewer than 20 democracies in 1946. Now there are close to 100. Meanwhile, the number of authoritarian countries has dropped from a high of almost 90 in 1976 to about 25 now."

    Let's embellish my statement for your understanding:

    You didn't address anything I said with anything relevant or substantive.

    I have given you citations and research. You have given me CNN.

    I'm now going to laugh my way to bed. Just rubbish, Marcus. Really academic...

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  45. I wasn't offering CNN as an academic response. I offered CNN as an example of common sense on how much violence and suffering people are experiencing right now.

    The really stupid thing about this is that you probably really think that there is less violence today than say 30 years ago. You must really think that there are less wars happening today. I don't think that's funny and you simply offered more rhetoric that there is less people dying in violence today. I'm sure that's real comforting in Darfur. Or the American troops getting shot at killed in Afghanistan. Or some any of the hundreds of murders in American town. I grew up in a place where my chances of dying by age 25 than living past 25 based on just where I grew up.

    What color is sky in your world? I understand the way you are trying to twist the statistics so you can pretend that human violence and cruelty is decreasing. I think most rational people would agree that they are more likely to die because of violence done to them than they were in decades past. 50 years ago in one of the most violent cities today, you could leave your house unlocked. No one does that today. Do you leave your house unlocked? Why?

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  46. No, I've offered stats.

    As Pinker also says (Huff Post):

    "_ Murder in European countries has steadily fallen from near 100 per 100,000 people in the 14th and 15th centuries to about 1 per 100,000 people now.

    _ Murder within families. The U.S. rate of husbands being killed by their wives has dropped from 1.2 per 100,000 in 1976 to just 0.2. For wives killed by their husbands, the rate has slipped from 1.4 to 0.8 over the same time period.

    _ Rape in the United States is down 80 percent since 1973. Lynchings, which used to occur at a rate of 150 a year, have disappeared.

    _ Discrimination against blacks and gays is down, as is capital punishment, the spanking of children, and child abuse."

    "In 1998, Andrew Mack, then head of strategic planning for U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, said a look at the statistics showed the world was becoming less violent.

    The "Human Security Report 2009/2010," a project led by Mack and funded by several governments, is a worldwide examination of war and violence and has been published as a book. It cites jarringly low numbers. While the number of wars has increased by 25 percent, they've been minor ones.

    The average annual battle death toll has dropped from nearly 10,000 per conflict in the 1950s to less than 1,000 in the 21st century. And the number of deadliest wars – those that kill at least 1,000 people a year – has fallen by 78 percent since 1988."

    So, I have provided stats and substantive content.

    You have supplied assertion and nothing else.

    Er, in 1939-45 26 million Russians died. Yes 26 million. Where is a conflict like that today? Is Darfur, as terrible as it is, like that?

    You are relying on rhetoric, and not very good rhetoric, because you have nothing left. You have simply been outargued by facts.

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  47. "It is easy to forget how dangerous life used to be, how deeply brutality was once woven into the fabric of daily existence," - Pinker. Referring to you, it seems.

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  48. Let's look at homicide stats for the US:

    1933:

    1933 6.0 42.7 16.5 23.6 (White black Native Am Asian)

    2005:

    2005 3.7 23.0 8.1 3.1

    I suggest you check Ohio State University, Criminal Justice Research Center, historical violence database.

    Our present US rates are staggeringly lower than the 1800s (See Rudolph Roth 2010 datasets).

    Of course, in wondering whether your assertions are anything near a truth, I am sure you have already done so.

    Although crime stats in Victorian Britain showed a decline from the previous century, we also know the newly formed police force massaged the stats so that thefts were recorded as lost property etc.

    "The 1960s and 1970s saw the highest crime rates in recorded history" http://www.macrimeanalysts.com/articles/historyofcrimeanalysis.pdf

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  49. Then, of course, it's worth seeing if what you say about this verse coheres across what is said in other verses. Does 2 Timothy 3 refer to an arbitrary time 2000 odd years in the future, or did it refer to the contemporary generation?

    Jesus predicted more than the fall of Jerusalem to happen in the generation of his first followers. He predicted end of the world and final judgement. He does this in all three synoptic gospels. For now we can just focus on Matthew. Look at Matthew 24:29-31. It is obvious that these are included in the “all these things” that will happen in “this generation.” Evangelical/fundamentalist Christian apologist Gary DeMar did a study of how “this generation” is used in the canonical gospels, and each time it is used to address the specific people that Jesus is talking to, so the garbage standard Christian apologetic answer that “this generation” is referring to a future generation simply will not work.

    Again, i ask you to show how the verses apply to now more than at any other time in history or the future.

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  50. Oh, incidentally, if I professed to being an atheist or agnostic in times gone past, I would have been burnt at the stake. I:n fact, most of society would, in some way, have been discriminated against.

    A few more stats?

    "_ Murder in European countries has steadily fallen from near 100 per 100,000 people in the 14th and 15th centuries to about 1 per 100,000 people now.

    _ Murder within families. The U.S. rate of husbands being killed by their wives has dropped from 1.2 per 100,000 in 1976 to just 0.2. For wives killed by their husbands, the rate has slipped from 1.4 to 0.8 over the same time period.

    _ Rape in the United States is down 80 percent since 1973. Lynchings, which used to occur at a rate of 150 a year, have disappeared.

    _ Discrimination against blacks and gays is down, as is capital punishment, the spanking of children, and child abuse."


    We now have:
    the Geneva Convention
    1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    International Committee of the Red Cross
    United Nations Charter
    International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
    International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
    Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) (adopted 1966, entry into force: 1969)
    Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (adopted 1979, entry into force: 1981)
    United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT) (adopted 1984, entry into force: 1984)
    Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (adopted 1989, entry into force: 1989)
    Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) (adopted 2006, entry into force: 2008)
    International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (ICRMW or more often MWC) (adopted 1990, entry into force: 2003)

    ...


    I could go on.


    Of course, these are all terrible things, and the world was such a better place during the Spanish Inquisition, World War 1 where 60,000 people died in the first day of the Battle of the Somme, in the Hundred Years War, when people were hung, drawn and quartered, when torture was acceptable, when kings could rape, when slavery was OK and justified by the bible, when we killed people based on not understanding them etc etc etc

    Again, I could go on.

    You know, it's ok to admit you're wrong. You could man up and do it, and I would actually think a lot more of you.

    ReplyDelete
  51. You'd be hard press to find anyone credible and with a brain would seriously argue that there have not been more wars or violence in the past 111 years than the whole of recorded history.

    This is so stupid. So, yes, in places, during various periods since 1900 it's been bad, very bad*. But you know what, Western Europe was a nightmare during the 116 years between 1337 to 1453.

    Going off Marcus highly thought out and scientific "War-Violence/year" metric, the period from 1337 to 1453 sure seemed great! I mean hey, only one war in 116 years, that's awesome, that's like a record low!!!

    Plus, how do you quantify "violence"? It's like he's ignoring all possible sources of violence except war and then claiming he's accounting for all violence. He's not read his E. J. Hobsbawm.

    In short, Marcus is not a deep thinker and only considers as much as he needs to to support his position and justify his belief.

    *since he's being passive aggressive again about blaming atheists for the last 111 years, I would imagine that's why he didn't mention the violence associated with the 500 years of slavery or the Indian Wars?

    ReplyDelete
  52. @Ryan and @Johnny P

    Funny how easy it is to find people who disagree with Dr Steven Pinker's conclusions

    Click this link for an example

    Also it's also interesting how fickle statistics can be.

    This link says that violent crime in the United States has increased.

    Also given that I grew up in the inner city, I believe I know better than either of you how "safe" it is living in such areas.

    In Addition you might learn something from a 20th Century conflict map showing the conflicts and cause. Click this

    "1.3 women in the U.S. are forcibly raped each minute. This translates to 78 per hour, 1,871 per day or 683,000 per year."

    http://www.sbrapecrisiscenter.org/04Information/info.html

    Would either of you care to argue that this has not gotten worse and that this has always been the case?

    And that's just for starters. You two are so wrapped up in trying to prove that this scripture does not apply today you are willing to make really stupid arguments.

    I also think that bringing up scriptures that I haven't in this post is a really stupid red herring. I disagree that the world is less violent today compared to the past but that isn't what 2 Timothy 3:1-9 is discussing. Think about it. If the world was not characterized by

    "People who are lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—"

    Would the Occupy Movements all over the world even exist? Nope. People have been pointing out the growing gap between rich and poor my entire lifetime. It's gotten that bad that people are actually willing to do something about it.

    I admit that I've wondered how can anyone not see that the world is growing more and more wicked? I wondered how does one maintain their atheism despite the horrors and evil people are inflicting on each other. Thanks to you guys now I know. You pretend that violence and evil is actually decreasing and that people are improving and blame religion for any past things that you find unpalatable. Pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
  53. It's gotten that bad that people are actually willing to do something about it.

    HAHAAH!! 1848... read some history, dummy.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I wondered how does one maintain their atheism despite the horrors and evil people are inflicting on each other.

    How in the world does horror and evil inflicted by people on people demonstrate a deity?

    You punt to god, but you know what else you can punt to, that makes a whole lot more sense, doesn't require presupposing the supernatural and complies with Occam's razor? An increase in population density...

    It's really just that easy.

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  55. @Ryan

    So in 1848, there was a movement like Occupy Wallstreet? So what. It was not in the United States and I would not equate those event with Occupy. But for the sake of your delusions, how does that hurt my argument? If anything it still shows that the Bible is true when it says "There is nothing new under the sun."


    How in the world does horror and evil inflicted by people on people demonstrate a deity?


    Who said it did? I didn't. Going for another red herring aren't you? Don't forget the point: The last days would see an increase of these things and you just agreed with me. Thank you. I'm not proving that God exists with the argument. I'm saying that the Bible describes the world today. There does not have to be a god for that to be true, but by saying this you show your fear that there may be a god.

    You punt to god, but you know what else you can punt to, that makes a whole lot more sense, doesn't require presupposing the supernatural and complies with Occam's razor? An increase in population density...

    It's really just that easy.


    So you disagree the Pinker and Johnny P that the world is getting more violent, but you think it's because there are more people. We agree.

    ReplyDelete
  56. It was not in the United States

    You've got to commit to whether or not you are talking about the whole world in general here or just the US or another region in particular (like Cambodia...)

    ReplyDelete
  57. That was in reference to 1848 and how the Occupy movement is truly global...but I would not refer to it as a revolution just yet. It may become a revolution but too early to tell.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Just in case you are confused I'm saying that 1848 revolutions were not in the United States in contrast to the the Occupy movement, though not a revolution, is truly global.

    ReplyDelete
  59. So with all the stas and huge raft of acaademic work, you provide a blog post by a pro-anarchist.

    That's fine, as long as, in agreeing with his p[ost, you also agree with all the other things in his post, such as not believing a word Fox News or CNN say.

    I assume uyou are equally anti-capitalist and non-corporate, and non-commercial?

    DEspite much of his ramblings being about other causes of death and potential death, there really isn't much to get your knickers in a twist about.

    You see, I have provided some 20 pieces of stats. I have given you some source data from places like Ohio State University, and referred you to them. I have provided examples of how society is improving morally, with the use of human rights conventions.

    And all you do is provide a blog post and some CNN scare tactics. I read in the paper yesterday something horrible about an attack on 3 Afghan women as one had refused to marry a warlord. This is the resulat of the global communication networks. Anything that happens anywhere is now reported. Now, though we would never have heard of this event 50 years ago, does not mean it didn't happen.

    In fact, it is secular organisations which try to limit the violence and fallout from the conflicts we have - the UN etc.

    You have done nothing to refute the stats I have given and HILARIOUSLY think that one blog post refutes an entire academic book.

    Your main MASSIVE issue though, is this. You try to uinclude the last 111 years as our generation, as these days. There is not one survivor of WW1 in the UK. Several generations have passed since those conflicts. They are past, gone. They are not the present.

    If you used that conflict map effectively (comparing like times) you will see that the more developed an area of the world, the less wars there now are. Plus, in case you didn't get it from all the other stats that I have given, there are less deaths in war than there were. Our media goes mental in Britain that 300 people have died in Afghanistan over the last 5 yesrs. As I said, 60,000 died on the first day of the Somme. Tell me that we are now more violent. I don't think today's generals from Britain would ever send soldiers 'over the top' in that fashion.

    You really have no idea what you are talking about and have the audacity to say stuff like "Pathetic".

    Look, there is one problem in the world from which all other problems come. Ryan rightly touched on it. It is population. The Optimum Population TRust know this. Dark green political thinkers know this. There are now 7 biliion people on earth, and 50 years agoi there was 2.5 billion. You do the maths. We will be fighting for resources. Fact.

    How could an all-loving God design a system and a species which populates in this way? Why is it that most religions are the ones against family planning? Why is it religious families in the western world who have many more children?

    As for bringing in other verses, of course it's relevant! Jeez.

    If one verse from a text does not cohere with another from the same text, then it calls one or both into doubt. This is obvious, and stop trying to weasel your way out of it.

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  60. Oh, and on your rape stats, let's have a look:

    "According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the adjusted per-capita victimization rate of rape has declined from about 2.4 per 1000 people (age 12 and above) in 1980 to about 0.4 per 1000 people, a decline of about 85%." (Anthony D'Amato - Northwestern Public Law Research)

    Rape in the States has seen a "decline of 60% since 1993" -
    How often does sexual assault occur? | RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. RAINN. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.


    Of course, this is not to belittle the problem - it is massive. However, a good statistician wil lhave to look at:

    The definition
    The cultural shift in what designates rape
    The historical reporting of it

    etc etc

    So that now we are far more likely to report it (good) because we have a leghal system that is far more likely to deal with it (good) as our society becomes far less patriarchal (good).

    But of course, being the really good researcher that you have shown yourself to be, I am sure you have thought about all of this.

    Of course, in biblical times, people were given countenance to do so to captured 'slaves'.

    Deut:
    As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.

    and

    If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.


    and Jabesh-Gilead in Judges 21:10-24

    Midianites in Numbers 31:7-18

    Deuteronomy 22:23-24

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  61. Deut:

    "When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive's garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion."


    Judges:

    They must be dividing the spoils they took: there must be a damsel or two for each man, Spoils of dyed cloth as Sisera's spoil, an ornate shawl or two for me in the spoil.

    Exodus:

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.

    Zechariah:

    Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city.


    And don't bother giving me any bollocks Paul Copan harmonisations.

    ReplyDelete
  62. So with all the stas and huge raft of acaademic work, you provide a blog post by a pro-anarchist.

    That's fine, as long as, in agreeing with his p[ost, you also agree with all the other things in his post, such as not believing a word Fox News or CNN say.


    So JohnnyP, you think that everything CNN and Fox News reports is true and complete? I don't.


    I assume uyou are equally anti-capitalist and non-corporate, and non-commercial?

    I'm against "People who are lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—". What about you?

    Look, there is one problem in the world from which all other problems come. Ryan rightly touched on it. It is population. The Optimum Population TRust know this. Dark green political thinkers know this. There are now 7 biliion people on earth, and 50 years agoi there was 2.5 billion. You do the maths. We will be fighting for resources. Fact.

    How could an all-loving God design a system and a species which populates in this way? Why is it that most religions are the ones against family planning? Why is it religious families in the western world who have many more children?


    So is there more violence in the world or less. You seem to be very quick to contradict yourself. You want to indict God because people sometimes resort to violence to compete for limited resources and yet you want to say that society is less violent. Make up your mind and stick to an argument. Which is it?

    As for bringing in other verses, of course it's relevant! Jeez.

    If one verse from a text does not cohere with another from the same text, then it calls one or both into doubt. This is obvious, and stop trying to weasel your way out of it.



    The verses you raised have nothing to do with if 2 Timothy 3:1-9 described the world today or not. That's a different conversation. And you haven't been able to show a contradiction in any of the Bible texts you've been able to raise anyway. That's why I'm saying it's irrelevant. Just like your comments.

    As for the whole Old Testament texts you pasted in without context or comment, I don't have to rebutt or harmonize anything. You have made no point. The point of the post was to discuss if 2 Timothy 3:1-9 describes or does not describe the world today. You get side-tracked so easily. Must be ADD. IT's not about proving the existence of God (He does) or showing that God was right in what ever he commanded (God is always right). Neither you or Ryan have managed to do either. Johnny P, you have failed unless you were trying to illustrate another faceplant.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Jesus Marcus, do you actually read ANYTHING that is posted before spouting off?

    "You do the maths. We will be fighting for resources. Fact."

    "So is there more violence in the world or less. You seem to be very quick to contradict yourself."

    I said WILL, you then said I think THERE IS.

    When you understand tenses, get back to me.

    Society IS less violent, but who knows what the problems will be when our world is pushed to the limits of its demand against supply of resources.

    Of course, as I asked Bill Craig when I spoke to him, "Why didn't God design all animals to photosynthesise?" to which he couldn't answer, the problem would be a non-problem with a God who was a half-decent designer. Which he very much appears not to be. If we only needed sun for energy (all animals) then our population issues would not be problematic.

    I'm sure, though, with your magnificent thinking abilities that you have thought about these issues too. Maybe even a little more than your thinking about grammar and the understanding of other peoples' posts.

    £Johnny P, you have failed unless you were trying to illustrate another faceplant."

    You really don't have a clue, do you?

    You can't accept that you got schooled on stats from violence to rape, AND YOU DON'T EVEN REFERENCE IT IN YOUR LATEST POST!

    You say crappy things, get called out on them time and again, and then don't mention them again as you know you are empirically wrong.

    "Would either of you care to argue that this has not gotten worse and that this has always been the case?"

    I called you out on your stats. i then showed that this behaviour is now outlawed by every society in the world. I then show it was countenanced by your God in the OT.

    This either show:

    1) a moral zeitgeist where morality depends on context and not absolutes or objective moral oughts

    or

    2) God is morally bankrupt

    I say both, personally. But hey, you claim this is irrelevant.

    Rather a pathetic dodge since you brought up rape, and then got schooled on it.

    I think you need to grow up a little and, and I REALLY mean this, do more reading on virtually ALL the subjects you pronounce opinions on. Stop throwing around faceplants and then ignoring all the times you get refuted. Stop playing to some imaginary massive audience on your blog and being an exemplar for Danth's Law. Stop pretending to be cleverer than you are. Be man enough to admit when you are wrong. I feel you have brought me down to an ad hom level with your silly rhetoric of which I am not proud, but which is impossible not to do when faced with such a low level of commentary.

    In sum, be more academic, less playground, more mature, less dogmatic, more understanding, less confrontational, more willing to learn, less like you know it all. Search for knowledge - don't assume it. And certainly don't assert it.

    ReplyDelete
  64. You are truly funny. You want me to respond to your stats on rape and violence? You don't seem to know what a "rebuttal" is. You just tossed out more stats that you think contradicted the stats I brought up. Good luck with that.


    I said WILL, you then said I think THERE IS.

    When you understand tenses, get back to me.


    So you are saying that the world will become more violent but it is less violent now than it used to be. Thanks for agreeing with me that the world will become worse and worse. That is all 2 Timothy 3:1-9 is saying. Thanks.

    If you want to get into the Morality of the Old Testament, fine, but i won't do in this post You really do have ADD don't you?

    think you need to grow up a little and, and I REALLY mean this, do more reading on virtually ALL the subjects you pronounce opinions on. Stop throwing around faceplants and then ignoring all the times you get refuted. Stop playing to some imaginary massive audience on your blog and being an exemplar for Danth's Law. Stop pretending to be cleverer than you are. Be man enough to admit when you are wrong. I feel you have brought me down to an ad hom level with your silly rhetoric of which I am not proud, but which is impossible not to do when faced with such a low level of commentary.

    In sum, be more academic, less playground, more mature, less dogmatic, more understanding, less confrontational, more willing to learn, less like you know it all. Search for knowledge - don't assume it. And certainly don't assert it.


    You should heed your own advice. You can't stay on topic and you are way to quick to use profanity. You really should lean more self control.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I said WILL, you then said I think THERE IS.

    You also said that there are a lot more people today than 50 years ago. Why would you assume violence and fighting to increase then and not in the past 50 years? That is why I say you contradict yourself. You can't have it both ways.

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  66. Er, by saying that we will have some issues with distributing the world's resources amongst a burgeoning population IS NOT proving 2 Timothy 3. With leaps like that, I now understand why you are a Christian.

    ReplyDelete
  67. "You also said that there are a lot more people today than 50 years ago. Why would you assume violence and fighting to increase then and not in the past 50 years? That is why I say you contradict yourself. You can't have it both ways. "

    Which is why i brought up the fact that you don't understand stats.

    Since , on your woeful use of stats (looking at totals rather than comparative per unit analyses), there is also more love, more friendship, more giving, more charity, more religion, more belief, more faith, more adherence to religious doctrine, more fairness, etc etc

    EPIC FAIL!!!!!

    This is EXACTLY why I said all the stuff I said. It is because you cannot extrapolate lines of reasoning or logic and manage to say some extraordinarily bad things. Which is then made worse by trying to claim that *I* in some way faceplant, in order to divert attention from the fact that *you* are saying supremely inept things. As i have said, you are a good exemplar of Danth's Law. You would fit right at home with Schlafly on Conservapedia talking about how he owned Lenski in that famous exchange, when in reality, he got COMPLETELY owned.

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  68. No but it is saying that the world will be more prone to the problems discussed in 2 Timothy 3.

    Since , on your woeful use of stats (looking at totals rather than comparative per unit analyses), there is also more love, more friendship, more giving, more charity, more religion, more belief, more faith, more adherence to religious doctrine, more fairness, etc etc

    I never argued that. Is that what you are saying?

    This is EXACTLY why I said all the stuff I said. It is because you cannot extrapolate lines of reasoning or logic and manage to say some extraordinarily bad things. Which is then made worse by trying to claim that *I* in some way faceplant, in order to divert attention from the fact that *you* are saying supremely inept things. As i have said, you are a good exemplar of Danth's Law. You would fit right at home with Schlafly on Conservapedia talking about how he owned Lenski in that famous exchange, when in reality, he got COMPLETELY owned.

    And again you have managed to waste much time asserting much and proving nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  69. "Since , on your woeful use of stats (looking at totals rather than comparative per unit analyses), there is also more love, more friendship, more giving, more charity, more religion, more belief, more faith, more adherence to religious doctrine, more fairness, etc etc

    I never argued that. Is that what you are saying?"

    Oh dear.

    "You also said that there are a lot more people today than 50 years ago. Why would you assume violence and fighting to increase then and not in the past 50 years?"

    "Nice attempted dodge. But I was never talking about per person but for the whole of our species. More people and more countries equate to more more evil, more immorality, and more problems. Thanks for making my point. "

    This is brilliant.

    So, you are arguing that higher total violence (thus invalidating a like for like comparison, known as fair testing) exists now than ever before. I claimed that on a per unit basis, we are now less violent. I then pointed out that your logic, in claiming higher 'total violence' also means that, per unit basis notwithstanding, a higher total amount of love, charity, religious adherence, faith, belief, care, friendship and so on.

    Hilariously, you failed to understand this point. Let me explain this to you using some more statistics.

    There are 173 million Christians in the US (2008) - more than ever before. That means, looking at totals, and with your logic, we are in the hayday of Christianity in the US, far less the End Days. Looking at totals tells you nothing. Now if we look at Christians per capita now compared to 2001 and 1990, we have a whole different kettle of fish, and actually see a comparative decline.

    (1990 x1000) 151,225
    (2001 x1000) 159,514
    (2008 x1000) 173,402

    but as a percentage of the population:

    1990 86.2%
    2001 76.7%
    2008 76.0%

    A decline of 10.2%

    UK Charities received £52 billion in 2009/2010, more than double the income of 1999/2000. This is exponentially higher than a century ago. The same could be said for foreign aid and international development. Thus on these figures, we are clearly more charitable than ever. So we are becoming more like Jesus, less like the End Days.

    However, to truly understand the stats, we would have to value the currency for the time, we would have to see the populations to calculate the per capita donation rates and so on. Now in this case, we are actually donating more, but that is not necessarily so from looking solely at the totals. Which is what you are doing.

    It is statistically irresponsible to look at comparing rates over two time periods without looking at frequencies or comparable units, especially when looking at human behaviour.

    By making a comment like "humans are more violent / kind / caring" you are not making a comment about humanity as a whole, but as individuals who make an average. Otherwise the whole point is merely "humans are more populous" since that is the dominating factor when talking about totals.

    You CAN look at totals - that's fine. But don't cherry pick what you look at, because you show yourself to be disingenuous again by claiming we are more violent, but not looking at the same logic that we are more caring or charitable, have greater numbers of volunteers and so on.

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  70. Does anyone have rape statistics from 1337? Marcus, you are an idiot.

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  71. As soon as you can prove that there were more rapes in 1337 than today you'll prove that you're not a complete fool.

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  72. "As soon as you can prove that there were more rapes in 1337 than today you'll prove that you're not a complete fool."

    Oh my God, are you serious? Really?

    And with that logic, you cannot disprove that there is a unicorn on Kepler-22. Therefore, there is a unicorn on Kepler-22.

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  73. Maybe there is, Johnny P. Regardless, it doesn't matter as to whether or not there were more rapes in 1337 today and it doesn't prove that the world is less violent today and won't become more and more violent in the future. Keep trying guys...it is extremely amusing.

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  74. I love the fact that you ignore the slamdunking on logic and statistical grounds that you have taken and punt to an unknown. And then claim it is amusing to watch.
    "it doesn't matter as to whether or not there were more rapes in 1337 today and it doesn't prove that the world is less violent today and won't become more and more violent in the future."

    And it doesn't prove that it isn't. Taking a rape stat, claiming something of it which is proved demonstrably to be false or incorrect in context, and implying it is worse than ever, but not accepting that it is unverifiable since we have no comparative data from before the last 50 years is pathetic.

    You are simply getting schooled. You have no answer. You have utterly failed to answer any of the points. You have been outclassed by statistics and logic and appeal only to unverifiable unknowns. Then you claim the upper ground, appealing to your hugs and supportive audience.

    It's truly sad.

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  75. You are simply getting schooled. You have no answer. You have utterly failed to answer any of the points. You have been outclassed by statistics and logic and appeal only to unverifiable unknowns. Then you claim the upper ground, appealing to your hugs and supportive audience.

    You can make statistics say whatever you wanna say. People do it all the time. I can throw out just as many stats that will skew your "evidence" the other direction. I didn't bring up rapes in 1337, Ryan Anderson did. I think you have a reading comprehension problem. It's amusing that you think you have rebutted or slam dunked anything.

    You deny that the world is more violent today but claim that it will become more violent as population increases and people compete for resources that are becoming more and more scarce. You are making my point for me and you seem to blind to see it. I'm arguing the same thing. That the world is more violent today than it was 50 years ago (as well as in my own lifetime) for those very same reasons and it's what Paul was talking about in 2 Timothy 3:1-9. The truly sad thing is that you are so deceived you can't see it.

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  76. So, pray, tell me how the Iraq war was more violent than WW2? WW1? Gas chambers, mass bombings of civilian targets, train loads full of people going to concentration camps, chemical warfare, 60,000 people dying in one day.

    You have nothing.

    I love your dodge on statistics.

    "I didn't bring up rapes in 1337, Ryan Anderson did. I think you have a reading comprehension problem."

    You are such an idiot. You accuse me of comprehension problems, when I agree with Ryan bringing it up and accuse you of not dealing with it. Which you have done again. You claimed rape was at end times proportions. I pointed out figures have dropped, and we can't compare to the more distant past. Ryan agreed by saying your figures are non-comparable to 1337. He was right, you were wrong.

    Again.

    Stop accusing other people of things that you yourself are doing countless times.

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  77. "Violent and Property Crime Rates Declined in 2009, Continuing the Trend Observed in the Last Ten Years

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The violent crime rate declined from 19.3 to 17.1 victimizations per 1,000 persons during 2009, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, announced today. This decline continued a longer-run decline from 51.2 victimizations per 1,000 persons in 1994 and brought violent crime rates to their lowest levels since 1973, the first year that BJS collected data from crime victims through its National Criminal Victimization Survey (NCVS)."

    See here

    Etc etc, i could go on.

    Now, it is interesting to note that though I expressed worry over the future with resources and population, that is the future, not now. You claim the verse applies to now.

    That we will be fighting for resources, I claim, does not mean the world will become more violent that in times past. Not only that, but this does not even prove that 2 Tim 3 is correct either.

    I think when, 1000 years ago, a third of the population was being wiped out by the bubonic plague, you would have been first in line to profess that we were in end times. However, here we are, 1000 years later.

    Good to see you had nothing to say about the total amount of charity, love, belief and religion. Hmm? Didn't quite hear you there. What was that? Oh, nothing...

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  78. "But Johnny P has to mitigate that if he wants to argue that these days are not the last days. Are they terrible days or not?"

    I love my life. I live a good life. I am ethical, I am chairman of an ethical organisation designed to make my local town a better place. My job contributes to society. My consumption practices are ethical. I volunteer. I carry out direct action to improve my local area. Many of the people I know do this too. We strive for a better world. There is so much good around this world, and all you do is try to concentrate on the bad to try and fulfill a prophecy which is somewhat fatalistic.

    This is the most charitable global society that has ever existed. Yet you remain silent about this.

    "Ryan Anderson and Johnny P have both attempted to argue that 2 Timothy 3:1-9 does not apply today because these are not the "last days". Of course they both think that Paul and the other first generation Christians believed Jesus would return in their lifetimes. I fail to understand why that matters."

    It matter because if you cannot establish the veracity of Paul or Jesus' claims with regards to prophecy and the future, what epistemic right do you have to conclude 2 Tim as veracious?

    Jesus DID claim to return in the generation after his death. If you and your fellow Christians want to fluff around that and try to gerrymander a harmonisation, then good luck. I cannot lie to myself in such a torrid manner. He said it, he meant it, he got it wrong. God, apparently, got it wrong. So 2 Tim can go in the same bin.

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  79. So, pray, tell me how the Iraq war was more violent than WW2? WW1? Gas chambers, mass bombings of civilian targets, train loads full of people going to concentration camps, chemical warfare, 60,000 people dying in one day.


    I did not say that the Iraq was more violent than WWII. I am saying that the level of violence world wide is greater than in WWII. During WWWII in the US you couold leave your doorsm unlocked and you most likely would not be robbed. That's not true today.


    You are such an idiot.

    Yes, you sure are.


    You accuse me of comprehension problems, when I agree with Ryan bringing it up and accuse you of not dealing with it. Which you have done again. You claimed rape was at end times proportions. I pointed out figures have dropped, and we can't compare to the more distant past. Ryan agreed by saying your figures are non-comparable to 1337. He was right, you were wrong.


    That's not what you said. And the burden of proof is on Ryan to show that the were less rapes in 1337 than today because he brought up 1337. I presented evidence that the totla number of rapes in the United States went up over tha past decades. You can make statistics say what ever you want by massaging the numbers. You agreed to that because you said that you can't look at totals. Het a grip. If you were conclusions were valid the the totals should also show what you claim.


    Now, it is interesting to note that though I expressed worry over the future with resources and population, that is the future, not now. You claim the verse applies to now.

    That we will be fighting for resources, I claim, does not mean the world will become more violent that in times past. Not only that, but this does not even prove that 2 Tim 3 is correct either.


    2 Timothy 3:1-9 means what it says. In the last days. You haven't shown that it's wrong. If the world will not become more violent than how will they fight? Pillows?

    I think when, 1000 years ago, a third of the population was being wiped out by the bubonic plague, you would have been first in line to profess that we were in end times. However, here we are, 1000 years later.

    It's been the last day since Jesus left. How do you know many "last days" there are? There could be 3000 years of last days. You seem to think "last days" refer to a week or something stupid like that.

    Good to see you had nothing to say about the total amount of charity, love, belief and religion. Hmm? Didn't quite hear you there. What was that? Oh, nothing...

    Total amouont of charity and good will has decreased. To the level that we let people die in hospitals instead of giving them the treatments they need because they don't have money.

    I love my life. I live a good life. I am ethical, I am chairman of an ethical organisation designed to make my local town a better place. My job contributes to society. My consumption practices are ethical. I volunteer. I carry out direct action to improve my local area. Many of the people I know do this too. We strive for a better world. There is so much good around this world, and all you do is try to concentrate on the bad to try and fulfill a prophecy which is somewhat fatalistic.

    This is the most charitable global society that has ever existed. Yet you remain silent about this.


    What color is the sky in your world?

    It matter because if you cannot establish the veracity of Paul or Jesus' claims with regards to prophecy and the future, what epistemic right do you have to conclude 2 Tim as veracious?

    Jesus DID claim to return in the generation after his death. If you and your fellow Christians want to fluff around that and try to gerrymander a harmonisation, then good luck. I cannot lie to myself in such a torrid manner. He said it, he meant it, he got it wrong. God, apparently, got it wrong. So 2 Tim can go in the same bin.



    Prove it

    ReplyDelete
  80. “I am saying that the level of violence world wide is greater than in WWII.”

    What? Tell me, in what way is today’s level of violence greater than 6 million Jews being gassed? Some 50 million people died! How is anything of our generation even REMOTELY comparable? Are you out of your mind?

    Let’s look at WW2:

    1. Okinawa - More than 100,000 Japanese soldiers and 12,000 American soldiers died in Okinawa. This isn't including those wounded, which for the U.S. forces amounted to 36,000 soldiers [source: Encyclopaedia Britannica]. Tragically, some estimate that Okinawan civilians made up 150,000 of the dead left in the battle's wake.
    2. Normandy invasion - The whole invasion spanned several months and lasted until the end of August. Casualties were high on both sides: Estimates peg German casualties at a staggering 320,000 (30,000 dead, 80,000 wounded and the rest missing) and Allied casualties at about 230,000 (more than 45,000 dead)
    3. Battle of the Bulge - Some have called this battle the bloodiest for Americans, as 19,000 U.S. soldiers lost their lives and more than 70,000 were wounded or went missing. For comparison, of the 12,000 British casualties, 200 were killed [source: Goldstein]. The Germans likewise suffered heavily with about 100,000 casualties [source:Miles].
    4. Stalingrad - This was a decisive battle that changed the tone of the war in favor of the Allies. And although the Soviets won, they also suffered more casualties than their enemies in the process. Axis forces had about 800,000 casualties, compared to more than 1 million on the Soviet side. In addition, about 40,000 civilians died in the conflict.
    5. Leningrad - As you might expect from a battle that lasted longer than some wars have, the number of deaths was astronomical. Most horrific is that more than 1 million civilians lost their lives as a result of the conflict [source: Collins]. This number made up about one-third of the local population at the time. Some fell victim to warfare directly, others from disease, freezing to death or starvation -- Nazi forces blockaded the city to prevent the people from receiving supplies. The Soviet army lost more than 1 million lives as well, not including more than 2 million sick or injured [source: Glantz]. The number of German casualties is disputed, but ranges in the hundred thousands.

    Oh, and several atomic bombs. Nagasaki – 70,000, Hiroshima - 140,000 people were killed in the immediate aftermath, and 240,000 are now considered to have died because of the bombing.

    But the level of violence is now greater based on the fact that you cannot leave your doors unlocked. Even though I showed you a ten year trend of decline in violent crime, such as burglary. That 1973 showed crime, in the States, as being at its peak.

    Ooh, epic fail. Again.

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  81. Ta da da da dooby doo “And welcome to tonight’s edition of Marcus McElheney’s Miraculous Misrepresentations!” Dooby doo da da da doo.

    Let’s see: “That's not what you said”

    Yes it was. I refer you to the posts of 11.46 and 12.43. Go read.

    And the double standard award goes to…: “And the burden of proof is on Ryan to show that the were less rapes in 1337 than today because he brought up 1337”

    Wahey! The master of throwing in random stuff, not backing it up, seeing it refuted, and ignoring the consequences is called out on his logic and then demands that we provide the stats to show a greater level of rapes when the entire point is that they are non comparable precisely because there ARE no stats.

    Let’s see, “The number of rapes per capita in the United States has plunged by more than 85 percent since the 1970s, and reported rape fell last year even while other violent offenses increased, according to federal crime data.” (Wash Post 2006, June 19th). And it gets better (literally, for women) “The FBI pins the number of rapes reported last year to about 89,000, an average of 29 women being raped for every 100,000 people. These numbers sharply contrast against the data from 1992, with roughly 100,000 reported rapes - an 18 percent drop” And that’s in the total number of rapes, as according to the FBI and reported in the NY Daily News, Oct 9, 2009.

    How about the NY Times on May 23 this year: “The number of violent crimes in the United States dropped significantly last year, to what appeared to be the lowest rate in nearly 40 years, a development that was considered puzzling partly because it ran counter to the prevailing expectation that crime would increase during a recession.
    In all regions, the country appears to be safer. The odds of being murdered or robbed are now less than half of what they were in the early 1990s, when violent crime peaked in the United States. Small towns, especially, are seeing far fewer murders: In cities with populations under 10,000, the number plunged by more than 25 percent last year.”

    So, yet again, you have unfounded scare-mongering doom and gloom because YOU WANT there to be end times, so your precious God can be proved to exist. How about you get out there, go work in a rape centre or similar, and DO SOMETHING about the crappy state of affairs you claim, rather than incorrectly muttering incoherently to yourself about how bad the world is like some right-wingnut on Fox News.

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  82. "You can make statistics say what ever you want by massaging the numbers. "

    I'm not massaging the numbers. I am careful what I say, and don't spout off stuff about which I know little. The stats speak for themselves and only a person backed into a corner with nowhere to go would wildly accuse the stats as being massaged. Yes stats can be dodgy ground, and some of the stats that I have provided can be further investigated to see how, what, where and why, but the sheer volume of stats I have provided against your empty void of nothingness and assertion should tell you that you are receiving a spanking.

    "the totals should also show what you claim. "

    As I pointed out before, you are simply concluding "the world is more populous". You are not dealing with the stats and how they should be used. You are taking non-comparable totals which tell you nothing of humanity's behaviour over time, but only tell you that our population is increasing, thus all things which are determined by this also increase.

    Hence why I brought up love, charity, belief, faith, friendship, prayer. To which you have said ABSOLUTELY FRICKING NOTHING AGAIN. Your use of totals renders your argument utterly incoherent in light of all the positives which also come from totals which show we are moving AWAY from an end times scenario.

    But no, with your tail between your legs, you scamper away and return with not even a mention of this.

    ReplyDelete
  83. "It's been the last day since Jesus left. How do you know many "last days" there are? "

    Oh dear. Conversation over. You produce the heads I win tails you lose ridiculous shite. Oh, it's now ALL the last days. Brilliant. Just like it's all 'this generation'.

    I know, let's take what Jesus says, strip away the normal, face value meaning, and massage into it whatever we want to make what he says an utterly distorted version of what he says so that, in our books, he's still right.

    I'm sorry, did YOU accuse ME of MASSAGING stats?

    Sheesh.

    "You seem to think "last days" refer to a week or something stupid like that. "

    Hang on, what is more likely, that 'last days' refers to 2100 years, or something remarkably shorter?

    When was the last time, in your daily speech, that you used the word 'day' to refer to 1000-2000 years? Go on, be truthful. For me, it has never happened. And no one I have ever known has used that either.

    Stop lying to yourself, and you might stop lying to people on your blog.

    "Total amouont of charity and good will has decreased. To the level that we let people die in hospitals instead of giving them the treatments they need because they don't have money."


    HA HA HA. Hospitals are a thing of 'these days'. 'These days' are quite represented by the welfare state and compassion. In the UK, WW2 saw the start of the welfare state. It didn't exist before that. We now have free universal education. Now I for one am a big supporter of universal healthcare in the States - but who opposes it? Oh yes, the Christian dominated right wing.

    Nice one. Ooh, own goal.

    Let's look, randomly, at cancer survival rates. They are better now than ever before. Who designed cancer? Oh, yeah, God. That said, we are now better at diagnosing and treating. As the Guardian reported 2 weeks ago: "The analysis of figures for 20 different cancers, based on London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine research, suggests overall median survival times in England and Wales – the time it takes until half those diagnosed have died – have improved from one year for those diagnosed in 1971-72 to 5.8 years for patients diagnosed in 2007...

    Six cancers, including colon and breast cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, have median survival times of more than 10 years. Colon cancer survival has improved more than 17-fold, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma 10-fold and rectal cancer seven-fold. It has doubled for breast cancer."


    AAARRGGHH, the end times are approaching because our cancer survival rates are improving! Mortality rates are dropping! Life expectancy is increasing! Oh, terrible times!

    Imagine the golden era of having 9 children, 3 dying of dysentry, 2 of cholera, 2 working down the mines through childhood indentures, 1 as scullery maid (she was lucky!) and one crippled in a fall from a chimney and a drain on the family! All with life expectancies in their 20s - those who survived.

    Yes, isn't life terrible now.

    You have no idea, do you? No idea.

    ReplyDelete
  84. What? Tell me, in what way is today’s level of violence greater than 6 million Jews being gassed? Some 50 million people died! How is anything of our generation even REMOTELY comparable? Are you out of your mind?

    What about the millions of deaths of human beings who never did anything to anyone?

    I see you are too myopic to really listen to any argument besides your own for how the world has improved over the past. So let's go back to the passage 2 Timothy 3:1-9. With every stupid conclusion you draw you show the passage to be fulfilled not just in the world today but in yourself. Re-Read what you wrote earlier today:

    I love my life. I live a good life. I am ethical, I am chairman of an ethical organisation designed to make my local town a better place. My job contributes to society. My consumption practices are ethical. I volunteer. I carry out direct action to improve my local area. Many of the people I know do this too. We strive for a better world. There is so much good around this world, and all you do is try to concentrate on the bad to try and fulfill a prophecy which is somewhat fatalistic.

    Now read (I realize that might be difficult for you but try anyway) the passage again and focus on verse 5. The part of "having a form of godliness but denying it's power."

    Remember also you wrote:


    So, yet again, you have unfounded scare-mongering doom and gloom because YOU WANT there to be end times, so your precious God can be proved to exist.


    You deny the power of God and God's very existence. Your very existence proves the passage is true.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Oh and life might be great for you and me but there are many, many people much worse off who have to be concerned day-to-day of violence directed against them. And there are more of them as the population increases. This means that the number of people suffering at the hands of another is more than there used to be. I hope you will never know what it is they go through.

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  86. "You deny the power of God and God's very existence. Your very existence proves the passage is true."

    What? It doesn't PROVE anything. You could do with a lesson, amongst many other subjects, in epistemology and logic.

    "Oh and life might be great for you and me but there are many, many people much worse off who have to be concerned day-to-day of violence directed against them. And there are more of them as the population increases"

    Oh look, there's another raft of points you have summararily ignored. Well done!

    Is this now the fifth or sixth time you have ignored the totals of love, friendship, charity, belief, faith, prayer, being close to Godness, compassion......

    STOP IGNORING THE POINTS THAT ARE LOGICALLY DERIVED FROM YOUR OWN POSITION!!!!!!!!!!!

    Man up.

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  87. Marcus, please, try to follow this, because it will only help you (maybe…).

    1) Marcus asserts that rape (and other things), on balance, are worse today than in the past.
    2) Ryan asks if he has rape statistics from the Medieval world.
    3) Marcus says, implicitly acknowledging that said statistics don’t exist, that Ryan can’t prove there were more rapes in the Medieval world then there are presently.
    4) Then, in response to Johnny P, Marcus says that it doesn’t matter if there was more violence in the past and somehow if there was, it doesn’t prove the world was more violent in the past (???).
    5) Then Marcus claims you can make statistics say whatever you want, which is only true to a certain extent, but either way, really only hurts his position, especially since he’s just assuming past activity in the absence of ANY statistics.

    Let me know if you can see how flawed your thinking is.

    Also, you said ”The world is more violent today than it was 50 years ago (as well as in my own lifetime)”

    And... "Oh and life might be great for you and me but there are many, many people much worse off who have to be concerned day-to-day of violence directed against them.

    So, there it is. Here’s the source of all your confusion. You are confusing anecdotes with evidence.

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  88. Is this now the fifth or sixth time you have ignored the totals of love, friendship, charity, belief, faith, prayer, being close to Godness, compassion......

    I did respond. You just proved 2 Timothy 3:5. Thanks for the faceplant

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  89. "I did respond. You just proved 2 Timothy 3:5. Thanks for the faceplant "

    THAT was your response? After all that time, and stewing on your own incompetence, THAT was all you had?

    So all that goodness, that charity, that prayer, that faith, that compassion, is invalidated by Johnny P's denial? That verse refers to me? So I worm my way into homes and gain control over gullible women?

    Let's get this straight.

    You claim we are more violent.
    I show both in total AND per capita values this is not correct.

    You claim rape is at its worst.
    I show that it is not, in total values and per capita values.


    in fact, i show crime trends have decreased, in both total and per capita values, thus showing we are moving away from terrible times, not towards them.

    I claim there is more total love, friendship, prayer, faith, belief, charity etc.
    You claim that it is either invalidated by my own denial of Godliness, or by everyone who perpetrates such goodness's lack of Godliness.

    You imply by your bold highlighting that everyone who is close to God also denies this or denies its power? Eh? Are you committing the No True Scotsman fallacy?

    In your words, prove it (other than me - I do deny it, since we have already seen that morality cannot be verified or valued internally by God, this is tautologous, but you didn't understand).

    Every stat you have provided has been refuted.

    I have amassed a bunch of stats, sources and studies.

    I suppose its been the End Times for the Piraha tribe for 2000 years?

    I have devoted too much time to this and to you at the expense of my own family. If your next post is not CONSIDERABLY more able and better argued, I will have to leave it here as you seem to have no idea. This makes three posts in which we have exchanged; three subjects in which you show yourself to be naive and trigger happy, not backing up any of your wild claims.

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  90. Oh, and of course, we haven't even touched on the notion that most scholars now concur it was not written by Paul ("“about 80 to 90 percent of modern scholars would agree that the Pastorals were written after Paul’s lifetime, and of those the majority would accept the period between 80 and 100 [A.D.] as the most plausible context for their composition.” (Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament, p.668.)"

    ReplyDelete
  91. So all that goodness, that charity, that prayer, that faith, that compassion, is invalidated by Johnny P's denial? That verse refers to me? So I worm my way into homes and gain control over gullible women?

    That's not all the good that takes place invalidated by you, just what you do is invalidated by you. I specified verse 5 refers to you personally, I wasn't referring to the false teachers who gain control over gullible women. No one cares about what you think, it's not talking about you on that point.

    Let's get this straight.

    This will be funny

    You claim we are more violent.
    I show both in total AND per capita values this is not correct.


    No you didn't. You threw out statistics that can be refuted by other statistics

    You claim rape is at its worst.
    I show that it is not, in total values and per capita values.



    No you didn't. You threw out statistics that can be refuted by other statistics


    in fact, i show crime trends have decreased, in both total and per capita values, thus showing we are moving away from terrible times, not towards them.

    No you didn't. You threw out statistics that can be refuted by other statistics

    I claim there is more total love, friendship, prayer, faith, belief, charity etc.
    You claim that it is either invalidated by my own denial of Godliness, or by everyone who perpetrates such goodness's lack of Godliness.


    It is invalidated by your own denial of Godliness because all the good that you do is because God blessed you to do it, regardless of what you think about
    God.

    You imply by your bold highlighting that everyone who is close to God also denies this or denies its power? Eh? Are you committing the No True Scotsman fallacy?

    Nope. Just people like you who claim to be good and deny who God is.

    In your words, prove it (other than me - I do deny it, since we have already seen that morality cannot be verified or valued internally by God, this is tautologous, but you didn't understand).

    You have not come even close to prove that. You have asserted that ad nauseum but proof? Nope. Evidence? Nada.

    Every stat you have provided has been refuted.

    There are just as many stats and ways of shifting the data that agrees with me as that appears to contradict me.

    I have amassed a bunch of stats, sources and studies.

    And there are just as many that refute you.

    I suppose its been the End Times for the Piraha tribe for 2000 years?

    For every human being.

    I have devoted too much time to this and to you at the expense of my own family. If your next post is not CONSIDERABLY more able and better argued, I will have to leave it here as you seem to have no idea. This makes three posts in which we have exchanged; three subjects in which you show yourself to be naive and trigger happy, not backing up any of your wild claims.

    You have said a whole lot but very little of substance. You didn't make any mentions of the millions of human beings as of today who have been killed and done nothing to no body.

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  92. You didn't make any mentions of the millions of human beings as of today who have been killed and done nothing to no body.

    I'm confused, I thought everyone was a filthy sinner deserving of everlasting punishment. That is the default position for all human beings, correct?

    But now, apparently there are millions of people who have "done nothing to no body [sic]"

    Please advise.

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  93. Ryan, what is more hilarious is the fact that Marcus cannot see the fallacy of using totals for his evaluation that now is the end times.

    You see, on his evaluation, every year since Jesus' time, seeing a rise in population, has also seen a rise in all the 'terrible things' which he alludes to. This means that, from the point of view of the people living at all those times, they have appeared to be end times. So he is actually special pleading by appealing to readers that the end times are now.

    This is made worse when we see the absolute as well as per capita totals for violent crime and war deaths go down.

    it is also made worse because he does not take Geography into account, so some countries go up whilst others go down, an d vice versa.

    He also misinterprets his own bible verse.

    " I specified verse 5 refers to you personally"

    Actually, the general understanding of this verse is that "This verse indicates that the wicked behavior he has just described is expected from Christians, who hold to “a form of godliness,” but who deny its real meaning and power. Non-believers would not even hold to the form of Christianity, so they cannot be the objects of this criticism. The author declares that such people should be avoided, contrary to his earlier advice to correct one’s opponents with gentleness. (2:25)"

    Or as Matthew Henry's commentary says: "Timothy must know that in the last days (2 Tim. 3:1), in gospel times, there would come perilous times. Though gospel times were times of reformation in many respects, let him know that even in gospel times there would be perilous times; not so much on account of persecution from without as on account of corruptions within. These would be difficult times, wherein it would be difficult for a man to keep a good conscience. He does not say, “Perilous times shall come, for both Jews and Gentiles shall be combined to root out Christianity;” but “perilous times shall come, for such as have the form of godliness (2 Tim. 3:5) shall be corrupt and wicked, and do a great deal of damage to the church.” Two traitors within the garrison may do more hurt to it than two thousand besiegers without. "

    So Marcus, who always claims he is an amazing exegete, and we don't know what we are talking about, clearly doesn't understand the texts he uses.

    "There are just as many stats and ways of shifting the data that agrees with me as that appears to contradict me."

    and
    " You threw out statistics that can be refuted by other statistics"

    Oh look people, more baseless or unevidenced assertions! If they CAN, why don't you do it. This is the standard of Marcus' arguments if I adopted them: Aah, Marcus, I CAN refute your claims that the verses refer to today. Therefore, they are refuted! Magic!
    Hmm, let's see, i have produced stat upon stat, source upon source, and Marcus has produced assertion upon anecdote, and expects to win the argument. Terrible times indeed. Maybe the verse was appealing to the terrible logic and argumentation used by Gospel adherents!

    "Nope. Just people like you who claim to be good and deny who God is."

    Aah, the classic 'cannot be good without God' assertion that is also baseless, and as we saw elsewhere, indefensible by Marcus who is uneducated and unread in moral philosophy.

    No better, then, Marcus. Oh well, we can only hope.

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  94. @Ryan Anderson

    I'm confused, I thought everyone was a filthy sinner deserving of everlasting punishment. That is the default position for all human beings, correct?

    But now, apparently there are millions of people who have "done nothing to no body [sic]"

    Please advise.


    Yes you are confused. No surprise. Everyone is deserving of hell and are depraved. Notice I said these millions of murdered human beings have done nothing to nobody - not that they were not innocent of sin. And by your confusion it makes me think that you don't know who these people are but rather than assume you're stupid why don't you tell me who you think I'm talking about and prove how clueless you really are.

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  95. Marcus,

    Do you think I deserve to die, in a presumably horrible way, because I have rejected God?

    ReplyDelete
  96. @Johnny P

    You see, on his evaluation, every year since Jesus' time, seeing a rise in population, has also seen a rise in all the 'terrible things' which he alludes to. This means that, from the point of view of the people living at all those times, they have appeared to be end times. So he is actually special pleading by appealing to readers that the end times are now.


    Yes, the more people - the more evil being perpetrated. Thanks for finally seeing the point. And it has been the last days since Jesus' time on earth. It's a countdown that we don't know how much time is left. You'd better prepare.

    Actually, the general understanding of this verse is that "This verse indicates that the wicked behavior he has just described is expected from Christians, who hold to “a form of godliness,” but who deny its real meaning and power. Non-believers would not even hold to the form of Christianity, so they cannot be the objects of this criticism. The author declares that such people should be avoided, contrary to his earlier advice to correct one’s opponents with gentleness. (2:25)"


    Obviously I don't subscribe to this interpretation fully because the verse is not just talking about being a Christian. It is talking about people acting as if you are godly -taking the moral high ground but really missing the boat. Of course it applies to false teachers in the church too but also to people who pretend they understand morality and deny God and don't do what they expouse. Like politicians also.

    Matthew Henry is right but it does not refute or rebutt what I said. Also learn how to use quotation marks. Of course I see how this applies to the church today and see it taking place. But it's outside the church too.

    Oh look people, more baseless or unevidenced assertions! If they CAN, why don't you do it. This is the standard of Marcus' arguments if I adopted them: Aah, Marcus, I CAN refute your claims that the verses refer to today. Therefore, they are refuted! Magic!
    Hmm, let's see, i have produced stat upon stat, source upon source, and Marcus has produced assertion upon anecdote, and expects to win the argument. Terrible times indeed. Maybe the verse was appealing to the terrible logic and argumentation used by Gospel adherents!


    That fits more with your line of argumentation. There are many stats that refute your conclusion and yet you persist in thinking you have said something meaningful. Extremely deluded.


    Aah, the classic 'cannot be good without God' assertion that is also baseless, and as we saw elsewhere, indefensible by Marcus who is uneducated and unread in moral philosophy.
    No better, then, Marcus. Oh well, we can only hope.

    "Conversing" with you has taught me how to overcome disappointment quickly.

    Do you think I deserve to die, in a presumably horrible way, because I have rejected God?

    That is why I think your exegesis is soo bad. That is not what the gospel is. Everyone Dies. Some horribly. Do you deserve to die horribly? No! You don't deserve it more than I do. Hell is not dying. If you are asking do you deserve to go to hell because you reject Christ - that is a different question and what you should be asking. If it were not for Jesus, I'd be going to hell right next to you. It's not about you being so terrible - that's all of us. The point is that God has made a provision so you don't have to be horrible and permanently separated from him...and all you have to do is surrender to him and quit fighting him and let God help you. And if you can't do that, He will even help you with that.

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  97. "Yes, the more people - the more evil being perpetrated. Thanks for finally seeing the point. And it has been the last days since Jesus' time on earth. It's a countdown that we don't know how much time is left. You'd better prepare. "

    Oh my giddy aunt.

    That concludes that this entire conversation has been utterly pointless. What a waste of my time.

    You also contradict yourself, since your first comment was "Demonstrate how the following scripture referred to below does not describe the world we live in today." which clearly implies an exclusive understanding of end times referring to now, not all the time since Jesus.

    "Also learn how to use quotation marks"

    What? i used two different quotes in the last post around which I put marks. Go read, and grow up.

    "That fits more with your line of argumentation. There are many stats that refute your conclusion and yet you persist in thinking you have said something meaningful. Extremely deluded. "

    I now think you are mentally incapacitated in some way.

    Let's see:

    I provide stat upon stat to refute your position.

    You provide no stats.

    I provide more stats.

    You claim stats can say whatever.

    I provide more stats.

    You claim there are stats that refute my stats.

    You do this several times, even though I call you out to provide them because you are merely making assertions and claiming them as fact. In doing so, you accuse ME of merely asserting. Utter hypocrisy! You still haven't provided evidence of what you claim on assertion only.

    You're amazing, and not in a good way.

    "That is why I think your exegesis is soo bad. That is not what the gospel is. Everyone Dies. Some horribly. Do you deserve to die horribly? No! You don't deserve it more than I do. Hell is not dying."

    and

    "Notice I said these millions of murdered human beings have done nothing to nobody - not that they were not innocent of sin."

    So they have not sinned against each other - they have sinned, denied God. And thus, by use of logic, deserved to die the way they did. The millions of them you refer to.

    I am one of them. Thus i deserve the same fate, no?

    Or do you admit mistake in your self-contradiction?

    Another classic post, Marcus! Keep 'em rolling.

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  98. @Johnny P

    That concludes that this entire conversation has been utterly pointless. What a waste of my time.

    That's because you don't listen

    You also contradict yourself, since your first comment was "Demonstrate how the following scripture referred to below does not describe the world we live in today." which clearly implies an exclusive understanding of end times referring to now, not all the time since Jesus.

    Just because the passage can be applied to describing the world since the 1st century does not mean it does not apply today. You still haven't shown that it does not.

    You claim there are stats that refute my stats.

    You do this several times, even though I call you out to provide them because you are merely making assertions and claiming them as fact. In doing so, you accuse ME of merely asserting. Utter hypocrisy! You still haven't provided evidence of what you claim on assertion only.

    You're amazing, and not in a good way.


    The point is pointless to get into a stat war with you because depending on how you compile the data, they can be made to say whatever you want them to say and dopes not nothing to prove or disprove that these are the last days or that 2 Tim 3:1-9 does not apply today. The passage does not even talk about an increase of violence in the last days. You can get that from other passages but not really concerned with this one.

    I had written:

    "That is why I think your exegesis is soo bad. That is not what the gospel is. Everyone Dies. Some horribly. Do you deserve to die horribly? No! You don't deserve it more than I do. Hell is not dying."

    You respond:
    and

    And if you continue to deny Jesus you will be going to hell. I hope you receive God's mercy.

    So they have not sinned against each other - they have sinned, denied God. And thus, by use of logic, deserved to die the way they did. The millions of them you refer to.

    No everyone who is capable of forming intent and acting on their own will sin against other human beings and against God and deserve to die. I the murdered millions I refer to are....no...I'll wait. Just because you deserve to did doesn't give another human being the right to kill you.

    I am one of them. Thus i deserve the same fate, no?

    No, you aren't one of the million I was referring to. You and I belong to the other camp who have sinned against other people and God - we deserve death, but God has provided a way for life.

    Or do you admit mistake in your self-contradiction?

    Nope. No contradiction. You don't understand the Bible.

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  99. Notice I said these millions of murdered human beings have done nothing to nobody - not that they were not innocent of sin. And by your confusion it makes me think that you don't know who these people are but rather than assume you're stupid why don't you tell me who you think I'm talking about and prove how clueless you really are.

    Given your general incompetence with philosophical terms, I have my suspicions, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you weren't talking about embryos.

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  100. Plus, if you were talking about embryos, then they would be innocent of sin. Or maybe they arent, I'm not sure what your weird sect asserts about the sin nature of embryos.

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  101. Plus, if you were talking about embryos, then they would be innocent of sin. Or maybe they arent, I'm not sure what your weird sect asserts about the sin nature of embryos.


    Not embryos. Babies. The one with weird opinions and worldviews is you. Every human being is sinner and none of us has the right to end the life of another. Instead of worrying about their sin, you should consider what you are going to do about yours.

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  102. Or, shorter marcus, "blah, blah, nothing nothing".

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  103. Goes to show how shallow your reading comprehension really is.

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  104. "Or, shorter marcus, "blah, blah, nothing nothing""

    Actually, Marcus, this is a remarkably concise and accurate appraisal of your arguments and philosophy.

    Ryan makes an interesting point about natural abortion. Now, last time this was mentioned, you spent more time arguing over the semantics of the term without dealing with the point. Something you do often by making often false and hypocritical accusations of grammar, typos and suchlike. Incidentally, I type very quickly, and am very reticent to be bothered to use html code, so I use things like speech marks much more often.

    So natural abortions / miscarriages etc. There are an estimated 65-75% of all fertilised embryos which are lost naturally, most unbeknownst to the mothers. God knows about these and could stop them, make them not happen. So don't talk to us about end times and presume to lecture us when your god deems it acceptable, nay, worthy, to allow millions of embryonic deaths around the world EVERY WEEK.

    These have not sinned.

    "That's because you don't listen"

    Are you kidding me?!?!?!? You ignore whole sections of posts because you simply cannot answer them, and the parts you do answer, you do so with undefended assertion. "You CAN refute the stats you provide. I won't do it, I'll just say you can and maybe the substantive points you have made will magically disappear!"

    No, Marcus, they won't. You are wrong on all your points, and if you do insist on using totals rather than stats on a per capita basis that allows like for like comparisons over time, then you also have to explain the increases in 'good' things, which you wave away weakly, and while you're at it, explain the MASSIVE increase of natural abortion over which humanity has no control, and often no knowledge, but which God could not only stop, but by allowing, openly countenances.

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  105. @Johnny P

    Bringing up natural abortion is a red herring. Bottom line - it's not murder. Eliminating a baby before it's born because you don;'t want to take care of it (which is the majority of reasons for clinical abortion) is murder). If you want to morality equate that with miscarriages - go right ahead.

    Something you do often by making often false and hypocritical accusations of grammar, typos and suchlike. Incidentally, I type very quickly, and am very reticent to be bothered to use html code, so I use things like speech marks much more often.

    From now on, if you don't bring up mine I won't point out yours. Why is it that you get to make excuses but for your mistakes yet you think something wrong with me? Double standards. I'll stop pointing my finger at you if you stop pointing yours at me. Fair is fair. God is not holding humanity responsible for miscarriages, just walking into a clinic and violently ripping a baby from the womb. Your rhetoric holds no weight.


    Are you kidding me?!?!?!? You ignore whole sections of posts because you simply cannot answer them, and the parts you do answer, you do so with undefended assertion. "You CAN refute the stats you provide. I won't do it, I'll just say you can and maybe the substantive points you have made will magically disappear!"


    I don't have to. Stats are a waste of time. You use them as a smoke screen and then pretend to have made a killer point. Not even close.

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  106. If you want to morality equate that with miscarriages - go right ahead.

    If you want to not equate it with miscarriages, you'll need to establish personhood. Good luck.

    Stats are a waste of time.

    This is why you are not and will never be an actual scientist.

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  107. If you want to not equate it with miscarriages, you'll need to establish personhood. Good luck.


    I didn't bring up miscarriages. Burden of proof is on Johnny P to show or explain when an unborn human being person. For that matter why you are at it why don't you prove your own personhood.


    This is why you are not and will never be an actual scientist.


    You sure have a problem with context. I'm saying that in the context of arguing about statistics that you can spin any way you want without agreeing on premises and presuppositions on which they are based is a waste of time. I am far more qualified in the fields I have studied than you are. So I'd be careful with the demonstrating your own stupidity.

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  108. "I didn't bring up miscarriages. Burden of proof is on Johnny P to show or explain when an unborn human being person. For that matter why you are at it why don't you prove your own personhood.

    I have no burden of proof. I make no judgements on personhood. You do by pronouncing abortion as morally wrong. This is abortion on a MASS scale.

    God designed and crested this world in the full knowledge that some 70% of the creatures that he deigned would die in different ways before they were born (not to mention all the diseases, disability and malfunctions after they are born!). He did this in the full knowledge that this would happen, that he could have done it otherwise, being omnipotent. So we are back to appealing to the omniscience escape clause. However, it is very difficult to harmonise this one since the vast majority of miscarriages happen unbeknownst to anybody. Thus the only entity which is properly aware of this is God.

    Personally, I contest personhood as a concept, and certainly don't believe embryos have it. But that is irrelevant, since I am not the one arguing that abortion is reprehensible and that embryos have personhood, which is what Christians argue. And they believe in an omnigod.

    So this whole terrible times malarkey is made a whole deal more terrible by the fact that the total number of naturally aborted foetuses, aborted by God himself, is rising exponentially with population.

    Now you can intellectually flap about like normal, come up with some bogus and ill-thought out harmonisation, but the reality for Christians is this: on miscarriages alone, it is almost impossible to argue fro the existence of God as you claim him to be. That if you partially equate terrible times as a reflection of brutality, abuse and lack of love, then these action of God are a very real embodiment of that.

    "I'm saying that in the context of arguing about statistics that you can spin any way you want without agreeing on premises and presuppositions on which they are based is a waste of time. "

    ABSOLUTE BOLLOCKS. These are the words of a man too afraid to confront the reality of the statistics he has been provided. He would rather claim, without backing his claims up with ANYTHING BUT ASSERTION, that the stats are rubbish, twistable or similar.

    So the very real stats on war deaths in real and per capita terms reducing, of real and per capita crime stats since 1973 reducing, which your government and its departments, are instantly discountable.

    That's a sad and unworthy indictment. Ryan is right, how very unscientific. Hey, if you would rather rely on anecdote and Fox News to get you through the day, not realising that people's perception of crime and the reporting of crime is very different from actual crime, then good luck to you, but don't pronounce to have anything like an academic opinion or argument about anything connected.

    You fall into the classic trap that has been recognised in the UK for years (it is well reported in "The Big Question: Why are public perceptions of crime so at odds with the official statistics?" in The Independent, 17 July 2009, amongst many others) - the fact that public perceptions of crime are completely different from the actual stats. We are at a 20 year crime low in the UK, yet most, like you, thinks crime is at record levels when it is clearly not. High profile TV reporting, scare-mongering from (right-wing) newspapers and suchlike are mostly to blame (which is why I read the Independent and not the Daily Mail - it is free from political and many other biases - it is decisions like this, when you understand how people and organisations work, that help to allow one to be as balanced as possible).

    So I am tired of your constant unfounded critique on statistics. You use them when it suits you, but when they don't, they are suddenly manipulated and untrustworthy.

    Don't accuse me on double standards. I am actually very level in my standards. It is you who needs to be more self-critical.

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  109. I didn't bring up miscarriages. Burden of proof is...

    There it is. It's almost pathological. Truly fascinating.

    I am far more qualified in the fields I have studied than you are.

    While a statement like this would almost always be true, I really have my doubts about you, given the content of this blog.

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  110. @Johnny P

    God designed and crested this world in the full knowledge that some 70% of the creatures that he deigned would die in different ways before they were born (not to mention all the diseases, disability and malfunctions after they are born!). He did this in the full knowledge that this would happen, that he could have done it otherwise, being omnipotent. So we are back to appealing to the omniscience escape clause. However, it is very difficult to harmonise this one since the vast majority of miscarriages happen unbeknownst to anybody. Thus the only entity which is properly aware of this is God.

    Personally, I contest personhood as a concept, and certainly don't believe embryos have it. But that is irrelevant, since I am not the one arguing that abortion is reprehensible and that embryos have personhood, which is what Christians argue. And they believe in an omnigod.


    God is not accountable to us or has to explain anything he does. We however are accountable to God. We do not have the right to arbitrarily take a human life just because it's inconvenient. If unborn human beings are not persons, how do you know you are a person?

    If you deny that unborn babies are not persons and you want deny your own personhood, that's fine by me.


    So the very real stats on war deaths in real and per capita terms reducing, of real and per capita crime stats since 1973 reducing, which your government and its departments, are instantly discountable.


    Blind faith. Governments lie. The media lies. You can still twist the interpretations of the data anyway you want. I'm not arguing against the data - just your interpretation and the collection of that data. You haven't given any reason (other than arguing from an authority that you ought to no better putting full trust in) to agree with your conclusions.

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  111. While a statement like this would almost always be true, I really have my doubts about you, given the content of this blog.


    And yet you keep reading it. And get other people to read it too. Thanks by the way. Oh and you have never demonstrated any better training or understanding.

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  112. "God is not accountable to us or has to explain anything he does. "

    As a rational being faced with a myriad of religions to choose from, he does have to explain. He can not bother, but then he can't blame me for not choosing him when I have been 'designed' to be a critical thinker. I have to assess christianity against every other religion and if I know that God has designed a system whereby 70% of unborn foetuses die, and if someone asserts to me that God is omnibenevolent, then for that to make any kind of sense, and for me not to drop one of those beliefs, then I will need a pretty good explanation because I can't even MAKE UP or CONCEIVE of an explanation for that.

    So you are wrong. God does owe me an explanation. And without one, there simply is not good enough reason to trust he exists, or has attributes ascribed to him that humans do (I've never heard HIM claim he is omniwhatever).

    As for end times, you have still failed to provide ANYTHING to remotely prove that the verses refer to now. Other than punting to 'the end times have existed from the moment of Jesus' death' which is hilariously inept.

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  113. And yet you keep reading it.

    Entertainment, it's like teasing a zoo animal.

    And get other people to read it too. Thanks by the way.

    ???

    Oh and you have never demonstrated any better training or understanding.

    In computer science??? No, I wouldn't have.

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  114. Entertainment, it's like teasing a zoo animal.

    Yeah, stupid primates are amusing. Thanks for the gift. You said you've sent other people here and asked them what their opinions are. Thanks again.

    In computer science??? No, I wouldn't have.M

    Every time you have said something derogatory about my blog's design or function you have pretended to have expertise and to know more than you do. Yo don't know what the design parameters for my blog are and to assume that you know what those are you show yourself really ignorant. On top of that the comments and attempt to criticize any mathematics or physics I have written about is the same. You're out of your expertise and should know your place.

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  115. @JohnnyP

    As a rational being faced with a myriad of religions to choose from, he does have to explain.

    Rational? I think that's an overstatement. And you're not a person so why should you think your opinion matters?

    He can not bother, but then he can't blame me for not choosing him when I have been 'designed' to be a critical thinker.

    The fact that you don't choose to serve God, make me doubt your critical thinking abilities.

    I have to assess christianity against every other religion and if I know that God has designed a system whereby 70% of unborn foetuses die, and if someone asserts to me that God is omnibenevolent, then for that to make any kind of sense, and for me not to drop one of those beliefs, then I will need a pretty good explanation because I can't even MAKE UP or CONCEIVE of an explanation for that.

    Goes to show that you don't know what omnibenevolence is or who God is. You have an over inflated sense of what you are and how important what your opinion is.

    So you are wrong.

    You have spectacularly failed to demonstrate that.

    God does owe me an explanation. And without one, there simply is not good enough reason to trust he exists, or has attributes ascribed to him that humans do (I've never heard HIM claim he is omniwhatever).

    God owes you an explanation for what he does just as much as you owe an explanation to shower glass scum for cleaning it with Formula 409.

    As for end times, you have still failed to provide ANYTHING to remotely prove that the verses refer to now. Other than punting to 'the end times have existed from the moment of Jesus' death' which is hilariously inept.<

    The basis of the word in the New Testament support the conclusion that it's been the last days since Jesus proclaimed them. Just because you want to number them doesn't mean anything because the Bible does not. The hilarious ineptitude is illustrated by your seriously spurious arguments.

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  116. Did you really say I should know my place?

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  117. I sure did. You should know your place and you can't know that without the one who made you. It's not as an engineer or physicist or any of the stuff you think you know better than I do.

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  118. you can't know that without the one who made you

    My Mom and Dad???

    I know I know "knowledge" better than you. You have no idea what you know and don't know. And that's the root of the problem.

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  119. My Mom and Dad???

    And who made them? Besides you claimed that you were raised a Christian, why didn't you listen to them?

    I know I know "knowledge" better than you. You have no idea what you know and don't know. And that's the root of the

    Describing you as "ignorant" doesn't even begin to fully describe you. You have no idea how bankrupt your mind really is.

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  120. "Fool" describes you best and it's even the way the Bible describes persons like you.

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  121. " If unborn human beings are not persons, how do you know you are a person?"

    This is why you are not very good at arguing stuff - it's because your use of terms is shoddy. You sneak in assumptions like 'unborn human beings'. If you have ever debated abortion and personhood, you would know that you are begging the question here. Which is no surprise - you arguments are full of fallacies. the difference between the terms human and human being are huge and philosophical. Whilst human is a biological term, human being assumes some kind of philosophical properties assigned to the human.

    Now, with an unborn foetus, you are assuming your conclusion in your statement. Is an egg a chicken? Well, most people would say it is not a chicken but a chicken egg in the same way most people would not declare a blastocyst a person. See the latest call for embryos in Mississippi - the vote failed, so constitutionally, your own country does NOT recognise embryos as human beings.

    But again, I'm sure you knew this and recognised it before throwing out you tremendously well-thought out soundbite statements.

    Philosophically, it becomes very difficult to

    a) define personhood
    b) pinpoint when it develops in humans

    Not too difficult for me, as a conceptualist. You see, points like this fall foul of the theory of the beard / sand dune / slippery slope. As such, it is easier to see them as subjective conceptualisations. Does personhood really exist? Well, only in the instantiation of its essential properties.

    But then, I'm sure you know your philosophy of property condition.

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  122. Now, with an unborn foetus, you are assuming your conclusion in your statement. Is an egg a chicken? Well, most people would say it is not a chicken but a chicken egg in the same way most people would not declare a blastocyst a person. See the latest call for embryos in Mississippi - the vote failed, so constitutionally, your own country does NOT recognise embryos as human beings.

    In California a few years ago, Scott Peterson was convicted of murdering his wife. She was pregnant at the time and he is now in jail on death row for two murders! Now that might because the baby was almost full-term but the fact remains he was convicted of murdering 2 people not just one. My country is divided on the issue and you don't know what you are talking about. Each state deals with this differently in some cases although clinical abortion is a legal nationwide.

    I am very clear about what I mean by "human being" and semantics by pretending an unborn baby can be human without being a human being should be beneath you.

    Not too difficult for me, as a conceptualist. You see, points like this fall foul of the theory of the beard / sand dune / slippery slope. As such, it is easier to see them as subjective conceptualisations. Does personhood really exist? Well, only in the instantiation of its essential properties.

    You never answered the question. Do you hold personhood or not? If so what makes you a person but an unborn human not a person. I think you are really being sloppy. You want to define terms.Great! Finally!

    1. Is there a difference between "being" and "person"?
    2. Are all humans "beings" or "persons" or both?
    3. How do you demonstrate your own "personhood"?

    Now this will be funny.

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  123. Look, Marcus,

    don't presume to think I don't know what I am talking about. Firstly, I have debated this before, no doubt in far more detail than you ever will. Secondly, I am philosophically trained. You are not. And it shows. You have made assumptions that demand the proving of objectivist theories, which is very hard indeed.

    The fact you don't know your normative ethics from your meta-ethics, your evaluative consequentialism from your universal consequentialism, without looking them upon wikipedia.

    And then you make pronouncements above your epistemological understanding, of personhood. Anyone can say what they think personhood is, but can they establish that it exists objectively, let alone agree with anyone else?

    And I'm sure you've studied the philosophy of personal identity, knowing your psychological criterion from your narrative identity.

    "I am very clear about what I mean by "human being" "

    Bully for you. Is it true? Does it have any effect on anything else? Is it philosophically defensible?

    "Do you hold personhood or not?"

    I am fairly sure that I have indicated this in another thread. I believe in a non-continuous "I". Memory connects our networks, though even that is prone to change and corruption. As in "You are that future being that in some sense inherits its mental features—beliefs, memories, preferences, the capacity for rational thought, that sort of thing—from you; and you are that past being whose mental features you have inherited in this way. There is dispute over what sort of inheritance this has to be—whether it must be underpinned by some kind of physical continuity, for instance, or whether a “non-branching” requirement is needed."

    I also adhere to a version of the Memory Criterion, which I am sure you understand, given your wide-reaching pronouncements on philosophical disciplines you seem to have.

    "1. Is there a difference between "being" and "person"?
    2. Are all humans "beings" or "persons" or both?
    3. How do you demonstrate your own "personhood"?"

    1. Yes
    2. Someone in a permanent vegetative state is arguably not a 'person' in many senses of the word, or certainly not the same person that you once knew. I am not the same person I was when I was 5, 15, 25 or even 5 years ago. In fact, I am VERY different in many ways. All my physical cells have been replaced. The only things which remain consistent are my memories, which change. As I have mentioned, we are like computers which gradually have all their hardware replaced, and only transfer parts of memory across, but even that becomes corrupted. Is it the same computer? Well, that is the argument. I would say no, though there are some common properties.
    3. What does that even mean?


    Back to the original point. You have still done nothing to establish the verse apply to now, and not any time in the past, or future, or that Jesus actually meant a continual time from then on, a special pleading for the meaning of the words.

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  124. Every time you have said something derogatory about my blog's design...

    You really are pathologically incapable of taking any sort of criticism. Fascinating.

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  125. "Every time you have said something derogatory about my blog's design..."

    I frequent dozens of blogs and websites and have designed and run 3 of my own websites. This is the slowest one I have ever been on. It stops other applications from functioning properly whenever a page is refreshed or is loading. Looks like this computer expert has gotten too excited and loaded too much on. Rather like his arguments; just needs to calm down, reflect on what the implications of what he does are, and act sensibly.

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  126. Back to the side-issue of personhood, Marcus will come up against many of the similar issues of establishing an objective morality, and the existence of any kind of objective idea, since personhood is an idea. It is a collective noun, if you like, that represents a collection of properties that exist in humans. The fact that we cannot agree amongst us (the larger intellectual community) exactly what denotes personhood shows that it is most likely a subjective concept. Where there is agreement simply shows that some people agree over some of these properties. An agreed set of subjective ideas, as opposed to an objectively existing entity.

    You see, you would face all the same old issues: the Problem of Universals, for a start, a problem that has gone pretty much unsolved for thousands of years. Well, it is solved by conceptual nominalism, which is what I hold to. There is no locus for abstract ideas such as personhood, except in the subjective minds of the individual thinkers.

    Of course, in Old Testament times, personhood started at birth zuch that:

    "Halacha (Jewish law) does define when a fetus becomes a nefesh (person). "...a baby...becomes a full-fledged human being when the head emerges from the womb. Before then, the fetus is considered a 'partial life.' " 5 In the case of a "feet-first" delivery, it happens when most of the fetal body is outside the mother's body.

    Jewish beliefs and practice not neatly match either the "pro-life" nor the "pro-choice" points of view. The general principles of modern-day Judaism are that:


    The fetus has great value because it is potentially a human life. It gains "full human status at birth only." 2


    Abortions are not permitted on the grounds of genetic imperfections of the fetus.


    Abortions are permitted to save the mother's life or health.


    With the exception of some Orthodox authorities, Judaism supports abortion access for women.


    "...each case must be decided individually by a rabbi well-versed in Jewish law." 5"

    and

    "The Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 69b states that: "the embryo is considered to be mere water until the fortieth day." Afterwards, it is considered subhuman until it is born.

    "Rashi, the great 12th century commentator on the Bible and Talmud, states clearly of the fetus 'lav nefesh hu--it is not a person.' The Talmud contains the expression 'ubar yerech imo--the fetus is as the thigh of its mother,' i.e., the fetus is deemed to be part and parcel of the pregnant woman's body." 1This is grounded in Exodus 21:22. That biblical passage outlines the Mosaic law in a case where a man is responsible for causing a woman's miscarriage, which kills the fetus If the woman survives, then the perpetrator has to pay a fine to the woman's husband. If the woman dies, then the perpetrator is also killed. This indicates that the fetus has value, but does not have the status of a person.

    There are two additional passages in the Talmud which shed some light on the Jewish belief about abortion. They imply that the fetus is considered part of the mother, and not a separate entity:


    One section states that if a man purchases a cow that is found to be pregnant, then he is the owner both of the cow and the fetus.


    Another section states that if a pregnant woman converts to Judaism, that her conversion applies also to her fetus. "

    (http://www.religioustolerance.org/jud_abor.htm)

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  127. If you argue that objective ideas do exist, then it is also the case that the range of all possible entities must also exist objectively, even if they don't exist materially. For example, a 'forqwibllex' is a fork with a bent handle and a button on the end (that has never been created and I have ‘made-up’). This did not exist before now, either objectively or subjectively. Now it does - have I created it objectively? This is what happens whenever humans make up a label for anything to which they assign function etc. Also, things that other animals use that don't even have names, but to which they have assigned 'mental labels', for want of better words, must also exist objectively under this logic. For example, the backrubby bit of bark on which a family of sloths scratch their backs on a particular tree exists materially. They have no language, so
    it has no label (it can be argued that abstracts are a function of language). Yet even though it only has properties to a sloth, and not to any other animal, objectivists should claim it must exist objectively. Furthermore, there are items that have multiple abstract properties which create more headaches for the objectivist. A chair, to me, might well be a territory marker to the school cat. Surely they same object cannot embody both objective existences: the table and the marker!

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