Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Short History of the Modern Calendar [Video]

A Short History of the Modern Calendar [Video]

Manuscript Evidence for the Bible

Ron Rhodes wrote a brilliant article about the manuscript evidence for the Bible. Take a look - it's a great summary.

Manuscript Evidence for the Bible
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Did Isaac Asimov “Tell me why”? - National Messianic Jewish |

Mariano Grinbank does it yet again! He posted an article about how Atheism...

turn[s] "science" into a worldview and so via reductionism they are reduced to absurdity.
It is well worth reading.

He wrote:

There is a song titled “Tell me why” which consists of the following lyrics:
Tell me why the stars do shine
Tell me why the ivy twines
Tell me why the sky's so blue
And then I'll tell you just why I love you
Because God made the stars to shine
Because God made the ivy twine
Because God made the sky's so blue
Because God made you, that's why I love you
Tell me why the stars do shine
Tell me why the ivy twines
Because God made the sky's so blue
Because God made you, that's why I love you
The atheist, Isaac Asimov, responded thusly:
Nuclear fusion makes stars to shine,
Tropisms make the ivy twine,
Raleigh scattering make skies so blue,
Testicular hormones are why I love you.

And then Mariano goes to show how silly reductionism really is. The song asks why stars shine, ivy twine, what makes the skies blue, and why love, but Asimov responded with "how"? The song is asking about purpose. Science can tell you "How?". History can tell you "what happened?". But only God can tell you "Why?".

Did Isaac Asimov “Tell me why”? - National Messianic Jewish |

Another article that is worth reading is as follows:

Science is Modern Myth (Or, How “Arguable” Trumps “True”)


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Friday, December 30, 2011

Richard Dawkins: on discrimination against his atheist religion - YouTube

Richard Dawkins
Cover of Richard Dawkins
I just heard that Richard Dawkins feels like he was discriminated against on the basis of religion in Michigan because a Country Club where he was supposed to be doing a book signing,Magic of Reality, canceled the event because he is an atheist. Wait: Can an atheist can cry "religious intolerance" if atheism is not a religion? Uhhhhh....shelving that for a moment, take a look at a news report on the fiasco at the following link.

Michigan Country Club Reportedly Cancels Richard Dawkins Appearance Following Fox Interview
Here is the interview of Dawkins by Bill O'Reilly which Dawkins clearly blames for his being rejected by the Country Club.

Unfortunately, Bill O'Reilly attitude and rhetoric makes Dawkins seem sympathetic because O'Reilly is so undesirable and even wrong about a great deal of things. Although I think Dr Dawkins' worldview is wrong, it's just as wrong to cancel his book signing no matter how stupid some of his ideas are of he indeed have a contract. Watch Marinano Grinbank's video commentary on this:

Richard Dawkins: on discrimination against his atheist religion - YouTube Religion - US Michigan Country Club Reportedly Cancels Richard Dawkins Appearance Following Fox Interview
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Biblical Condemnation of Rape and other Acts of Misogyny Part 2

Mark, you provided detailed comments and I think that they deserve a well-reasoned response that does not adequately fit in a comment box. So I'm putting my response into a new post. My responses are in red.font with the same rules as the previous post. To all those who may be reading this, this is the a continuation of line of conversation. Feel free to read the links that come before this post.

Atheism and Rape - YouTube
Biblical Condemnation of Rape and other Acts of Misogyny
I appreciate the time and effort you’ve put into your answer, even though I disagree with much. Like an Eskimo meeting a Zulu, it may be hard to appreciate each other’s position, but hey, a culture clash is always mutually educational.

I agree that such exchanges are very educational and helpful. I especially appreciate Mark's attitude. 
I  appreciate the conversation and the way Mark has conducted himself. No ad hominem to be found. I can appreciate that he does not  toss insults instead of why he disagrees. A lot of people could learn a lot from him, although I too disagree with much of what he has written.

I think that in order to say that FGM is objectively immoral (as opposed to subjectively immoral), you have to unambiguously show that God prohibits it. Other wise you’re just saying that if God is silent on an issue that I disapprove of, then he forbids it, and if he is silent on an issue that I approve of, then he approves it. In other words; subjective morality!. Like you say pointing out that God does not mention FGM does not equate with saying it is right - it just means that you have no objective basis for saying that is wrong.

I disagree that we don't have any way of knowing what God thinks of  female circumcision (aka FGM) because the Bible tells us that only males were supposed to circumcised. I'm dismayed that during the course of his follow-up comments, Mark did not explain why Genesis 18 and Romans 4 do not address the purpose of circumcision. I argued that it has no way of condoning female circumcision and excludes it as a way to honor God - no, more than that. It's against God's character making it immoral.

The background is this: Apologist William Lane Craig stated that atheists don’t have objective morals, which is quite a ballsy claim.

That's not what he argues. He argues that they can't consistently explain where those moral values come from. Please listen the following lecture so that you can hear what Dr Craig actually says:
Is God Necessary for Morality? by William Lane Craig - Apologetics 315

He reasons that “objective morals are morals that are valid and binding independent of human opinion” and “god’s moral nature is expressed in relation to us in form of divine commandments which constitute moral duties”. So in other words, there is no role at all for human interpretation of the bible, because then it is not “independent of human opinion”.

I disagree. If we don't understand what the Bible is saying then we don't know what the divine commandments are. For example, how do your children  follow the rules you set, if they do not understand those rules. We know what the Bible says. It's clear. It's when you want to apply your own opinions and not just obey what you know it says is when we have issues.  For example, how many ways can you interpret "Do not steal."? How does your opinion affect the meaning of that commandment? There is no reason why it should. We choose to obey God or we choose to sin. I don't think the Bible requires opinion to understand what God means. If you get stopped by a police officer for speeding, does your opinion matter as to whether or not you get the ticket?  Nope. Why should divine commandments be different.

So, like me, you may feel strongly that FGM should be immoral. However, by WLC’s reasoning, you need “a divine commandment” that is “independent of human opinion” to say that FGM is immoral, and the bible doesn’t give you that.

Yes it does. If you are not a male descendant of Abraham, you don't have to be circumcised. If you are forced to be circumcised and told that it's in service to God, then you have been lied to. Immoral! End of story.

By WLC’s definition, nothing that is not explicitly permitted or forbidden in the bible has an objective moral basis.

I would like to see Mark or anyone provide such a statement from Dr, William Lane Craig. 

So your reasoning that FGM is immoral becomes as subjective as an atheist’s, no matter how strongly you feel it. And it’s not just FGM that has no “biblical” objective basis, but also environmental protection, organ transplantation, IVF and age of sexual consent.

So Mark admits that an atheist has not objective basis for condemning female circumcision other than his own subjective opinion. Right? As for the Christian Theist, I managed to demonstrate that the Bible does condemn female circumcision. And as for environmental protection, who says it's immoral? As for what God thinks about it, read Genesis 1:28

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 

"Rule" includes to protecting and taking care of the earth. Who says organs transplantation is immoral? The Bible doesn't. And as for the age of sexual consent, the Bible tells us that a person should not be having sex until they are married. Our society has flipped that and has tried to change that and that is one reason why western ciivilization is in the state it is in. Imagine what would the world would be like if people stuck to their own spouse and married with the intent of raising any children that resulted? No need for abortions or divorce or any of the unpleasantness dragging our world.down straight to hell.

In my opinion, the value of a moral system is determined by its aim. The aim of biblical objective morality is to maximize obedience.

Who says that? Where in the Bible does it say that? I mean I agree that many churches are ran that way, but that's not what the Bible says. 

40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time.- Deuteronomy 4:40

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.- Jeremiah 29:11

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.- John 10:10

And there are many other scriptures which can be brought to bear here.

However, the aim of secular humanism’s morality is to maximize community health and happiness. Now that’s a moral system that is useful!

I agree with Dr. William Lane Craig that without God, there is no way to maximize community health and happiness. Truth is the fact that society has wised up in some ways - more fairness to women for example - but that's not going against God but better aligning ourselves with God, but falling away in others.

Just to go through the examples of misogyny that I quoted, I think you are using special pleading to avoid their nasty implications. I feel like the guy in that Monty Python skit trying to return a dead parrot – what’s in plain view is not being recognized.

I disagree. Since Mark has been kind enough to defend his examples of misogyny - and not just assert it, let's jump in.

1) Calling a woman unclean for a normal bodily function is certainly misogynistic. Did the men have to be kept isolated if they cut themselves and bled? There’s a vicious double standard at work. Telling women that their periods make them impure and unclean, and ostracizing them for weeks would damage anyone’s self-esteem. Have a moment’s pity for the poor girls with menorrhagia, whose periods can last up to three weeks. They would have spent almost all their adult life alone

I wonder if Mark is aware of all laws regarding how men can become ceremonially unclean? Just read Leviticus. Ceremonial uncleanness is about the right to take part in religious ceremonies. The reason for putting menstruating women outside the camp (and not into the wilderness) was for sanitation. They didn't have the same level of cleanliness we do today. I also don't think that we can say that this applied to when they lived in cities but when they were wandering around for 40 years. I also would ask if Mark, or anyone, could show the rate of menorrhagia among Hebrew women during that time? I mean if God keep their shoes from wearing out, and miraculously feed them manna and quail, I think keeping the women from getting menorrhagia would be minor thing.

2) I’m sure that Isaiah 3:16 doesn’t refer to all women – just the ones whose spirit hasn’t been beaten down. A woman with self-confidence? Who, God forbid, dares to flirt? Or wear accessories? Burn her, I say!! (In this case God was merciful, and gave them scalp lesions. He must have been in a good mood that day).

Isaiah was not saying anything of the sort. The women were not being punished for flirting. Why couldn't they just flirt with their husbands? No where are women told not to love themselves but are told to put their confidence in God, just like men are supposed to do. Sorry, Mark, the passage just doesn't say what you said it does. 

3) You seem fond of defending bible verses by saying that economical realities of the time made what seemed cruel an act of mercy. Let’s overlook the fact that economic realities could have easily been changing laws by say, giving women the right to work and to own their own property. Let’s also overlook the fact that even if it was a mercy, women were never given a choice or a say in the matter. No, my issue is that your claim that these were economic realities of the time is false.

I don't know why God didn't just give women the right to vote and own property.  It's not what he chose to do. I think you may forgetting that at the time this law was given, Israel was living in a nomadic existence. No one owned land or property. 

Let’s look at Egypt in the biblical times. Only several hundred kilometers away from Israel, but centuries ahead in terms of treatment of women. Things weren’t perfect, but women could own property, borrow and lend money, attend markets, ask for divorce and make wills. Some women became craftswomen, and received pay equal to men (the Western world still hasn’t caught up to this). They even created female teachers and philosophers (if you want to know what the early Christians thought of female Egyptian philosophers, Google Hypatia of Alexandria).

Hypatia was not even contemporaneous to the laws we are discussing here. I'm not sure why Mark brings her up. As for the status of women in Alexandria, did slave women have the same rights? Nope only  women who were royalty had that kind of privilege. Only less than the "1%". While the laws God gave Israel were applicable to everyone! Don't romanticize the ancient Egyptians so much.

So the fact that women could have their vows annulled by men had nothing to do with economic realities and everything to do with the fact that the bible was written by Galilean hillbillies. Even by the standards of their own time, they were rednecks.

Um, at the time Israel had gotten this Numbers, Israel had not reached the land of Israel, not even Galilee. And if you are one of those who think that most of the Torah was written in Babylon during the Exile, saying that numbers was written by Galileans is still wrong (anachronistic at best). I think the reason for the law also goes back to the roles men and women are supposed to have...such that men are the head of household - and that makes them responsible and accountable. Economic realities is part of it, but not the whole story.

4) On 1 Timothy 2:12, I’ll just point out that the Quiverfull movement today uses this verse to deny women education and the right to control their own destiny.

I wonder if Mark read the link to the previous post I wrote explaining exactly what this passage means. I know some morons use this verse to deny education to women, but that is not what the Bible says. And how does Quiverfull movement's delusion rebutt anything I said about 1 Timothy 2:12? It doesn't.

5) I’m sure that the Bible approves of monogamous, heterosexual sex in a marriage, but that is only a small slice of the phenomenon that is human sexuality. Everyone’s sexuality is unique, and we all have differing sexual needs. If someone approved of vanilla ice cream, but banned all of the other 300 flavors, wouldn’t it be reasonable to say he was anti-ice-cream?

Since God created sex and gave sex to humanity as a gift, don't you think God would know the best way to enjoy that gift? And no, I would not think that banning 300 flavor of ice cream but one mean that one has to hate ice cream - especially if other 299 flavors were poisonous and ultimately harmful  no matter how good they taste. God is looking out for us and wants what is best for us.

I agree that Oholah is an allegory for Samaria, but it’s still a sexist allegory. There certainly were women who were like Oholah in biblical times. They achieved financial dependence without giving themselves in marriage, and controlled their own destinies. They had a healthy sexual appetite, and were liberated enough to follow it. They dared to enjoy material possessions. All without harming anyone else. They were the first feminists of biblical times. If Oholah really existed, I would have liked to [have met] her. I’m sure she would have been an amazing woman.

Why does having "healthy sexual appetite" mean having sex with anyone would  have sex with you instead of enjoying sex with your spouse only? Ezekiel 23 does not describe women who are just liberated and happily determining their own destinies, it's telling us about women who are destroying themselves.

And like what all patriarchal men would like to do to feminists, she was abandoned, humiliated, mutilated, raped and murdered. I imagine the crowds of men were cheering when they heard the end of that story. After all, if Ezekiel didn’t think he could rely on misogyny to make his point, why tell the story?

If men who hear this story cheer it is because they missed the point. Mark conceded that Oholah is an allegory for Samaria. Oholibah stood for Jerusalem. People who heard this story understood that they were like prostitutes with reference to how they  belonged to God and they were lusting after other gods. In effect they were giving God - the one who had brought them out of Egypt, loved, and protected them as His special people - the finger (you know which one). They should have been inspired to repent if they understood the story - not to hate women. You do realized that even today women who live like she did end up abandoned, humiliated, mutilated, raped and murdered, right?

You say Oholah deserved punishment for prostitution. But nowhere does Ezekiel suggest that money was her motivation. However, in several lines he says that she was motivated by lust “for mounted horsemen, all handsome young men….whose genitals were like donkeys and emissions were like horses(!)”. Fair enough, sounds like a confident girl with a healthy libido. I interpret Oholah to be a mistress of multiple men rather than a street-prostitute.

How is being the mistress of multiple men better than being a street-prostitute? Which one would you want your daughter to choose to be? Personally, I don't want my daughter to be neither.

Anyone, the reasons Ezekiel uses to demonize Oholah is that she dared to be lusty. Oh the horror! Solomon can have 1000 wives, but god forbid a woman enjoy sex with more than one man.

Men are also forbidden from enjoying sex with more than one women. There is no problem with that.Solomon was condemned for doing that. It was the start of his down fall.

1) You’re right; the Bible doesn’t suggest that the Benjamites were righteous men. But the plan to carry off the dancers of Shiloh wasn’t hatched by the Benjamites, but by the elders of all the tribes of Israel. I think the bible usually implies they were God’s favored.

The elders of Israel were not congratulated on their action. The Bible merely records it.

And when the fathers of the kidnapped girls came to the Israel tribal elders, the elders told them “Do us a kindness by helping the Benjamites out, so that all that pussy can be put to good use” (I may be paraphrasing that last line a bit).

Again the Bible does not tell us: This pleased God, go and do likewise.

Of course, the Benjamites were never punished for taking the dancers of Shiloh, and all the men lived happily ever after.

How do you know that the men involved were never punished? Just because the Bible does not record what happened to these men - the Benjamites nor the other elders of the tribes - does not mean that they did not pay for their sins. I see a lot of people take this line of reasoning. Jesus said something we should remember:

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” -  John 21:22


2) I think that by the time the Midianite virgins were rationed out like cattle, the war was already over.

Are cattle allowed to mourn for their dead relatives? No? The Midianite captives were. I think that Mark is reading a lot of  his own presuppositions into the accounts as to how these women thought and felt.

3) Perhaps your ‘re right, and David’s wives were given to his son rather than his neighbor. I’m sure that makes all the difference. It must have been all a big hoot for the lucky girls.

The part that’s missing from that verse is where the women were asked their opinion or permission. Evidently the biblical authors didn’t think they should have a say in whom they slept with.

They were wives of the King. In that day a woman expected to sleep with her husband. The point of the story was that David was getting payback for what he did to Bathsheba and her husband. When we do evil there are always consequences. Sometimes God takes those away when we get forgiven and sometimes we still have to live with them.

To finally wrap up:

Immoral behavior needs to be taught as much as moral behavior. If you don't think children need to be taught how to steal, just read Oliver Twist. Children develop their own personalities, with personal proclivities towards moral and immoral behavior varying from child to child.

In Oliver Twist, he had to learn to steal without being caught - not how to steal. Besides that is a fictional story. I would love for someone to point to a child who has never had to be corrected for  lying or stealing. Every person has immoral proclivities. And unless someone tells you, you have no idea what is right and wrong in many respects.

Once again, this variation provides a survival advantage for our species. A book called "Nothing To Envy" described life during the famine in North Korea. One haunting statement by a defector was:
"the kind and generous, the ones that shared, the ones that wouldn't steal.......they were the first to die".
Evolution has bequeathed impulses that we describe has right and wrong, but both give survival advantages in different situations. In times of plenty, like what we live in, stealing is considered wrong, and not needed for survival. In times of famine, only the thieves survived.

Crediting evolution for the impulses to know right and wrong is a tricky thing. What do you do with people who don't see right and wrong the way you do? Is something wrong with them? Why can't they see it? Are they less evolved than the rest of us? Is someone who would steal cable less evolved than someone who would not?  Why should those who don't see anything wrong with lying to certain people, murder certain people, or steal from certain people be allowed to live and procreate to pass on their messed up genes? Why? Why not?

What had happen' was.....: Biblical Condemnation of Rape and other Acts of Misogyny
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Faster Than Light Neutrinos? Maybe! [Video]

It's been big news in science. I'm still not sure that neutrinos move faster than light, but it's interesting to watch how it is all playing out!

Faster Than Light Neutrinos? Maybe! [Video]

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Answering Muslims: Does the Bible foretell the coming of Muhammad?

A debate between Mustafa Arja and Samuel Green. December 2011. The Debate topic: Does the Bible prophesy about Muhammad?

Answering Muslims: Does the Bible foretell the coming of Muhammad?
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Biblical Condemnation of Rape and other Acts of Misogyny

I recently posted a link to a video playlist by Mariano Grinbank regarding Atheism and Rape (the link is at the end of this post). A reader, named Mark, began asking some interesting questions but he is more concerned with how Christians understand how the Bible condemns misogyny and rape. He has been very cordial and respectful so I think his  latest comment deserves a post of it's own since it's not really on topic with the original post. I've taken his last comment and will respond. My words are in red and his are in black. And quoted scriptures will be bolded black font.

I'm going to break my response into two parts; one to examin the notion that the Bible provides a workable moral system that prohibits rape and FGM, and a second to examine wether secular haumanism provides a system.

Fair enough. 

I've challenged many apologists to provide a biblical basis for why rape/FGM should be considered wrong, and so far none have done so. The most common replies have been evasive responses like yours, i.e the "biblical-silence-equals-prohibition" response or the "against-the-vibe-of-the-bible" response.

I'm going to just assume that Mark has simply not been exposed to such evidence for how we know that the Bible condemns and does not condone rape and just provide some helpful resources. I wrote a summary post of resources called Does the Bible Condone Rape? and one of the links on it that I must point out is Mariano Grinbank's parsed essay, Atheism, the Bible, Rape, and Dan Barker. Mark has brought up specific scriptures and although Mariano addresses these, I will address them here too. 

Firstly the "no passages saying it is a good idea" defence. I agree nowhere does the bible state a position on FGM (although, as seen below, in many verses the bible gives a thumbs-up to rape). However, neither does the bible say that it's a good idea to shave, drive a car, exercise, get an education or wash your hands after defecating. Because there are no passages saying it's a bad idea, would you say they are wrong.

Pointing out that God does not mention Female Genital Mutilation does not equate with saying it is right. The Bible also doesn't say "Don't stand underneath a tree when it falls", but I am confident that we shouldn't. Instead of looking at what the Bible does not say about FGM or what the Bible records what happened to women, why not look at what it says about how women should be treated!

Ultimately, you are making a claim that Christianity provides a framework for superior objective values. To back that up, you need to show that show that the bible provides unambiguous guidance in cases of rape/FGM, otherwise you are just using your subjective moral opinion. Where do you get these subjective opinions from. From secular hyumanism, which is informed by principles of the Enlightenment.

Before Mark goes as far as saying that the Bible does not provide a framework for  repudiating rape, Female Genital Mutilation,  or misogyny, let's look at the scriptures he uses and I will later give the reasons why I know the Bible is against such behavior and attitudes.

Secondly, it is not at all obvious from biblical teachings on the treatment of women that rape is wrong. To put it mildly, the bible is a cesspit of nauseating misogyny.

 Actually, I think that was quite blunt..

Briefly, the bible describes women as unclean (Lev 15:19),

Does it really? In context?

19 “‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.- Lev 15:19

"Unclean" in this context is talking about ceremonial uncleanness - not worthless or bad.

haughty (Isiah 3:16)

Is Mark, thinking that Isaiah is saying that all women are haughty?

 16 The LORD says,
   “The women of Zion are haughty,
walking along with outstretched necks,
   flirting with their eyes,
strutting along with swaying hips,
   with ornaments jingling on their ankles. - Isaiah 3:16

Nope. Not all women - he is referring to the women contemporaneous to him  who live in Jerusalem.

and untrustworthy (Numbers 30:1),

 1 Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: “This is what the LORD commands: 2 When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.
 3 “When a young woman still living in her father’s household makes a vow to the LORD or obligates herself by a pledge 4 and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand. 5 But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the LORD will release her because her father has forbidden her.
 6 “If she marries after she makes a vow or after her lips utter a rash promise by which she obligates herself 7 and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her, then her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. 8 But if her husband forbids her when he hears about it, he nullifies the vow that obligates her or the rash promise by which she obligates herself, and the LORD will release her.
 9 “Any vow or obligation taken by a widow or divorced woman will be binding on her.
 10 “If a woman living with her husband makes a vow or obligates herself by a pledge under oath 11 and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her and does not forbid her, then all her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. 12 But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand. Her husband has nullified them, and the LORD will release her. 13 Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself. 14 But if her husband says nothing to her about it from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or the pledges binding on her. He confirms them by saying nothing to her when he hears about them. 15 If, however, he nullifies them some time after he hears about them, then he must bear the consequences of her wrongdoing.”
 16 These are the regulations the LORD gave Moses concerning relationships between a man and his wife, and between a father and his young daughter still living at home.- Numbers 30
So is there anything in the text that says  women can't make a vow or an oath because women can't be trusted? No - not one word. So why is it possible for a husband to nullify an oath made by his wife or for a father for her daughter? Simple. Because of verse 1. The man is responsible. His wife is his responsibility and his unmarried daughter living in his household is his responsibility..  This was how the society at the time - in theocratic Israel -  was set up. Most women did not have the economic resources or means to fulfill the type of vows in view here - it was up to the man who was responsible for her. This had nothing to do with her moral purity nor cognitive powers.

and should aim to be submissive (1 Tim 2:12)

 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.- 1 Timothy 2:12

I find it amazing that Mark would use this verse to discuss women and the command to submit. If you look up the other passages about women submitting you would find that it is in context to submitting to her husband and that male and female children should submit their mother and father (such as Ephesians 5:21-33). As for 1 Timothy 2:12 it is context of a church organizational structure - not on a job or in all interaction. I've written quite a bit on this at An "Evil of Christianity.

and hate sex (Ezekiel 23).


 What scares me the most is that such an accusation is really seriously leveled against God! I mean the whole chapter is about Israel and Judah, personified as a parallel. Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah are showing  that living as prostitutes is just like how Israel and Judah turned their backs on YHWH and began worshiping idols. We might as well put our name in there instead of theirs because when we follow anything else other than God we are like the prostitute who cheats on her husband - who adores her and does all she needs. The book of Hosea makes the same point. Besides anyone who thinks the Bible condemns sex and enjoying sex within a monogamous, heterosexual marriage must have never read Song of Songs (aka Song of Solomon) or is reading it wrong.

Most rapists share these views of women. Incidentally, I felt like I needed a showed after fact-checking those referecnes.

I agree that many rapist think that women as unclean , haughty  and untrustworthy, and should aim to be submissive and hate sex. Fortunately, the Bible disagrees.[See the picture on the right because it shows the stupidity of some people regardless to what their religion is]

So, once again I'm going to ask you to provide bible-based reasoning on why rape and FGM is wrong.

 Mark provides a hypothetical example in a few lines and I will answer there - specific to the hypothetical conversation. .

In return, I'll provide secular-based reasoning on why rape/FGM is wrong. Keeping in mind that I've provided detailed multi-paragraph reasoning on why stance, perhaps you could provide more than the cursory two lines above.

Fair enough. I look forward to Mark providing a secular-based reasoning for why rape and Female Gentile Mutilation (FMG) is wrong. 

A suggestion: Perhaps you could provide the answer as a response to the following hypothetical:

You have two new co-workers, called Bob and Cindy. Over lunchbreak, you find that you are all christians, and start to bond. then Bob offhandedly mentions that he raped his promiscious neighbour the night before.
"Bob, that's terrible" you say. What a wrong, immoral thing to do!"
Bob replies "Mr. McElhaney, you have no right to say such a thing. I am a godly man, and as such am following his laws. If god wanted women to have a say in sex, then he would not have let righteous men rape the women dancers of Shiloh (Judges 21:10), or given Midianite virgins to Moses soldiers, given Oholah to the Syrians or given David's wifes to his neighbours for sex (2 Samuel 12:11)"

Challenge 1: Use bible-based reasoning to show Bob why his actions are immoral.

"Bob, where does the Bible say that the Benjamites in  Judges 21 are "righteous" men? Hint: It doesn't. Oholah being given to the Syrians in  Ezekiel 23 mirrors the way God allowed Israel and Judah to fall to their enemies. Oholah deserved punishment for her prostitution and so did Israel and Judah. We deserve hell for our sins. The Midianite virgins does not apply to what you did. Were you in a war? No. You just said she wasn't a virgin. And no where does the text say they were raped and forced to do anything. As for David, his wives were not given to his son in public not his neighbors. And why did this come on David - because he committed adultery and tried to cover it up by murdering her husband. What you have done is no better than what David did or any of the reference to rape you mentioned. It also does not matter what evils and sins the woman you raped was guilty of. Not only were you wrong to rape her but even if she wanted it - that makes you a fornicator. Remember what  1 Corinthians 6:18 says. Brother, you need to beg God for mercy and forgiveness and repent of this horrible sin. You can start with the police. I'll call them for you. . You are being just like the people described in Judges 21:25

25In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

And you are supposed to be saved and not living for yourself. We are supposed to be doing what is right in God's eyes.

Then Cindy says that she is taking her 12 year old daughter back to Africa next week for genital circumcision. You reply "Cindy, how immoral! You can't do that to a young girl!"
"But Mr. McElhaney, such is our custom. And the bible does not say it is immoral, so who are you to say it is immoral?"

Challenge 2 : Use Bible based reasoning to show Cindy why FGM is wrong.

Cindy, I know western culture has labeled such practices as  Female Genital Mutilation, but I am aware that many cultures that practice it refer to it as "female circumcision". There is not a single case or example of God requiring a woman to be circumcised. For what God glorifying purpose would you circumcise a female? Set aside for a moment the cultural reasons - like discouraging adultery,  and  the medical risks, and even the fact that it must have been horrible and painful for you personally and let's look at why God  commanded circumcision in the first place. Here, get your Bible. When God gave Abraham the sign of circumcison he said:

9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”- Genesis 17:9-14

Do you see anything even resembling female circumcision? No. Only males. And it is to be sign between God and Abraham (and his descendants). And before you start thinking that I am arguing that only the circumcised can be righteous, you need to remember what Paul wrote in Romans. 

 9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
 13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.- Romans 4:9-15

So make sure you daughter is circumcised in her heart and not in her flesh.

I look forward to Mark providing his secular-based reasons to the same challenges. And while he's at it, I'd like to know how does he account the fact that no one has to be taught how to lie. How to steal? How to dislike others? How to mock others? How to be arrogant?

What had happen' was.....: Atheism and Rape - YouTube
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Answering Muslims: Somalia Sees Alarming Increase in Rapes

With things like this going on, I find it impossible to argue with the a straight face that the human race is advancing morally.
The Shabab militant group, which presents itself as a morally righteous rebel force and the defender of pure Islam, is seizing women and girls as spoils of war, gang-raping and abusing them as part of its reign of terror in southern Somalia, according to victims, aid workers and United Nations officials. Short of cash and losing ground, the militants are also forcing families to hand over girls for arranged marriages that often last no more than a few weeks and are essentially sexual slavery, a cheap way to bolster their ranks’ flagging morale.

Answering Muslims: Somalia Sees Alarming Increase in Rapes
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The United States Government Debates Whether the X-Men Are Human Beings... In Real Life - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

Okay, here is a great example for why I like to read Comics Alliance. They just posted a story that I had not heard about where the US Government wanted to tax toys based on the X-Men franchise differently from other toys based on whether or not they represented human beings or not. There was a whole podcast on this by RadioLab and in addition to posting the podcast there were great comments made in the Comics Alliance post.

You can listen to the fascinating story above -- including a few thoughts on the case from X-Men movie director Bryan Singer -- and it's well worth 18 minutes of your time. The short version is that tariff law classifies toys into two different categories. Anything that's brought into the country for a kid to play with is either a doll, which includes anything that represents a human being, or a toy, which covers anything that's not. It might seem like a small distinction -- especially when I'm sure some of you are out there shouting "they're action figures!" -- but the fact is that the import tax on dolls is twice what it is for toys.

Back in the '90s, when Toy Biz was making so much money off of X-Men action figures that it was able to actually buy Marvel comics at one point, this was a pretty big deal. But the thing about those lucrative X-Men toys is that they're not based on "humans" -- or at least, they're not based on homo sapiens. So armed with that distinction, trade lawyers Sherry Singer and Indie Singh went to the customs office to take up the proud tradition of Bolivar Trask and argue that mutants are not, in fact, human beings, and should not be treated as such.
Magneto was right, y'all. About international trade taxes, at least.

The United States Government Debates Whether the X-Men Are Human Beings... In Real Life - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews
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Alan Moore Talks Science, Imagination, Other Trippy Stuff [Video] - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

I think Alan Moore is a genius in many ways. I agreed with some of what he said and disagrees with other things, but one thing is for sure as someone who has influenced mass media since the 1980's  he can't be ignored. Somethings he's right about others I'd take issue with. Take a listen and see what you think.

Alan Moore Talks Science, Imagination, Other Trippy Stuff [Video] - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rethinking Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa Candles
Image by universalhiphopparade via Flickr
Sometimes God allows you to learn information that you can't ignore but you wish you could. I had one of those mornings. I was listening to James White's Tuesday's webcast (link here) and in the beginning he was discussing information about the origins of Kwanzaa - stuff I didn't know and had not considered. I've heard the cleaned up version of the story but not the information Dr White was bringing up. Dr White got the information from Pastor Eric Redmond's blog A Man from Issachar at the following link: Repost: (Against) Kwanzaa Resource: Sharing the Gospel With Your Kwanzaa Celebrating Friend. The post calls attention to the work by Carlotta Morrow’s research and book Kwanzaa: Cultural or Cultic. Her book traces the origins of Kwanzaa and points out just how incompatible it is with Christianity. Just the little bit I have heard and read so far, has made me have to rethink celebrating this holiday more and more.I've purchased the book and I am planning a more comprehensive review but for now just visiting her blog will give you much to consider. Read it at this link. Kwanzaa: Cultural or Cultic?
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Faceplant of the Day: The Christian Faith Makes a Person Stupid | Debunking Christianity

John Loftus posted the following quote and comment recently.
How many people have claimed to have finally debunked God? Way too many, This has been going on for centuries and someone is always popping up claiming to “Finally debunk God. If God wasn’t real then why did it take over 2000 years to “Finally Debunk” Christianity? I call this “The Finally Debunk Crew” Link
The reason dimwit, is because Christianity is like a chameleon, ever changing in response to its culture, our criticisms, and science. The Christianities of yesteryear have been debunked. That’s why you hold to the one you do today. And your type of Christianity will be replaced slowly into the future as well.
I have often read Loftus and others make this point but I've never actually seen any evidence that this is true. In fact none of these atheistic attempts to prove Christianity wrong has ever succeeded. None of their arguments are new nor persuasive. It's just one failure after another. I mean really think about it...does anyone really think that it took 2000 yrs for someone smart enough to come along and show that Christianity is wrong? Or do they really expect us to think that they've managed to raise an objection that not only has not been raised before and (on top of that) no one has ever answered them? It'd be funny if it weren't so pathetic.

The Christian Faith Makes a Person Stupid | Debunking Christianity
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Infographic: Looking for Life on Mars

Infographic: Looking for Life on Mars

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bill Maher: Jesus Just F*cked Tim Tebow Bad

It's an amazing thing. Tim Tebow has continued to give God glory even when his team looses.

I think that this very commendable and teaches us all a very important lesson. Bill Maher on the other hand illustrates how bad and ignorant people can be about who God is and what a proper relationship with God should look like.

Bill Maher: Jesus Just F*cked Tim Tebow Bad
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Faceplant of the Day - Confusing Body Parts With Value of Religion

So how does the picture below perfectly illustrate what a faceplant looks like?  Comparing religion to a penis is really sad especially tying it to the way  some men misuse that part of their body to abuse others. Here is one of the issues that really make the comparison stupid: does the fact that women don't have penises mean that they can't have a religion or be proud of  their religion? Obviously they can. Also men who would misuse their bodies to abuse others do so for their own gratification. If someone shares their religion with you for their own gratification, they are doing it wrong.

Atheism and Rape - YouTube

Mariano Grinbank has posted a video trilogy about what various atheists and otherwise evolutionists have to say about rape, morality, etc. I think that the subject, while uncomfortable, is vitally important. Many atheists do and everyone should deplore rape and not do it. That's not the issue. The problem comes from the idea that there are some morons who still choose to rape others and society should catch these people, punish them, and protect the rest of society from them. I think most people [normal] agree that this must be done but how do you substantiate the right to do it? Why is rape wrong if there is no standard? The truth is that the way people try to answer questions like these without God not only surprises me but disgusts me. Watch the video playlist, but prepare to see a lot of fail.

Atheism and Rape - YouTube
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the a-atheism blog: Christopher Hitchens & Stagecoach Humiliate Richard Dawkins

Christopher Hitchens
Image via Wikipedia
I've been looking and exploring the much material that has been posted about Christopher Hitchens upon his passing and I think thank at the article I've linked to this post deserves much attention. It underscores many differences between Christopher Hitchens and Dr Richard Dawkins. The other thing that appears in this article is a post to a video of Dr William Lane Craig commenting on Hitchens. I think that the fact that people disagreed with Hitchens yet respected him and they him says a lot about the man - much good things. The important thing to remember is that Hitchens has gone to where he belongs and one day we will all go to where we belong - with God or apart from God. Personally I want to be with God.

the a-atheism blog: Christopher Hitchens & Stagecoach Humiliate Richard Dawkins
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Faithful Thinkers: Cartoons, Animal Death, and Theology

What does one of the Looney Tunes episodes tell us about "the challenge of so much animal death in God's creation"? How does this affect theology regarding death before sin? Quite a bit. Just read Luke Nix'as article!

Faithful Thinkers: Cartoons, Animal Death, and Theology
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Answering Muslims: James White vs. Abdullah Kunde: "Can God Become a Man?"

The video for the debate on the incarnation between James White and Abdullah Kunde is now posted!!!

Answering Muslims: James White vs. Abdullah Kunde: "Can God Become a Man?"
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Battles For E-Supremacy [infographic]

Battles For E-Supremacy [infographic]

Truthbomb Apologetics: Counterpoints: John Loftus and Frank Turek on the Death of Christopher Hitchens

Over on Truthbomb Apologetics, Chad posted two comments regarding the death of Christopher Hitchens. I think he did something amazing: allowing us to see how one of Hitchens' fellow atheists looks at this and how a Christian - one of Hitchen's debate opponents - view the same man.

John Loftus: "Many Christians are thinking he’s burning in hell. Some others may even say this. But it is a disgrace to humanity to even think this abhorrent thought about such a brilliantly good man...this statement burns me up to no end. It is more repulsive than any thought I can conceive...may his memory live on. He has changed the world for the better." [1]

Frank Turek: "There is no one with whom I disagreed more who I admired so much. I don’t see how anyone who knew Christopher Hitchens could think that a man with such admirable qualities and talents was nothing more than a collection of chemicals– the product of unexplained random processes. Christopher’s intellect, wit, courage, and passion are evidence to me of a Divine Being– a Divine Being who loves human freedom so much that He would even allow the gifts He bestows to be used against Him." [2]


I usually follow Loftus' blog Debunking Christianity, but he seems to have abandoned it for another site (see the reference note from Chad below), but it's interesting that to Loftus, Hitchens was too good to burn in hell. I'd like to see his reasoning for that. But be that as it may, Frank Turek's comments show how Hitchen's death should be looked on and brings up a great point - God blesses us despite ourselves. Not because we deserve it - but because He is soo good. It's a striking contrast. Loftus is fixated on his perception of God's goodness (none of us are good enough to stand before a holy God), while Turek is focused on God's goodness. Notice how although he and Hitchens disagreed on a lot of things, Turek says nothing mean or derogatory. In the quote there isn't even speculation on Hitchen's eternal destiny. I think Turek's attitude, like Peter Hitchens' attitude, is the one we should have when looking at the life and legacy of Christopher Hitchens.

Truthbomb Apologetics: Counterpoints: John Loftus and Frank Turek on the Death of Christopher Hitchens
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