Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Double Standard

I found  the following comic on Tumblr and I think it shows the fundamental double standard.  I don't know if the author of the comic strip is for or against same-sex marriage but it does point out an obvious contradiction. If it does not matter who you love but only standing up for that love, then what do you tell the pedophile who wants to marry a child or the person who wants to marry a dog or a cat or a horse or all of the above? Most people agree that we need to limit this, but on what grounds? And how far? Personally, I think the way God has limited this is the only logical and fair answer.

wades-emporium: monasticmaestoso: juicemark: ... | K Tempest Tumbles

Friday, August 23, 2013

FacePalm of the Day - Debunking Christianity: Rhetorical Bullshit: The John Loftus Trinity Argument

It is truly shocking how Atheists and Agnostics have the standard that because the Trinity does not make sense to them that it can't be true, yet recognize that so many other things can be not understood by them and yet still be true. To make matters worse, when they discuss the trinity they never correctly describe it. They mess it up and show they don't understand the Trinity at all.

Just like Loftus, this man can't tell a difference between "being" and "person". This is a category error. "Being" and "person" are not the same thing at all. Christians do not believe that God is three person in one person or three beings in one being. God is three persons in one being. If you make the correct distinction between "being" and "person" there is no need for confusion. A human being is one person. Who say that God, who is infinite and so different from us on any measurable level, why would we think God is limited just as us.

Another example of where the video fails is the "Logos" discussion. The mistake is thinking that Jesus had a beginning. He didn't. The Logos is eternal.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. - John 1:1-3

Well at least the man recognized that Jesus is the Logos.

Debunking Christianity: Rhetorical Bullshit: The John Loftus Trinity Argument

Why Trust the Gospels? Video by Peter J. Williams - Apologetics 315

Why Trust the Gospels? Video by Peter J. Williams - Apologetics 315

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Where did God come from S M Lockridge's Unforgettable answer - YouTube

Where did God come from S M Lockridge's Unforgettable answer..wmv - YouTube

Faceplant of the Day - Debunking Christianity: Why Do Christians Speak for God?

Again JM Green has attempted to come up with an argument against Christianity but only manages to show how ignorant a human mind is without God

The god of the Bible sure has a lot of self-appointed press agents.

In the Old Testament, Moses and the prophets spent a lot of time talking about what their god hated and loved. They detailed what behavior he expected, the loyalty and sacrifices that he demanded, and the ways he would retaliate if not obeyed. They revealed who god wanted killed, and under what circumstances. Whenever God was upset, feeling betrayed, or benevolent, his spokesmen let be known, as if they were divine mood rings.

Notice the unstated presupposition: That Moses and the Prophets offer varying and different messages throughout the Old Testament In other words that the message changed like people's moods change. He offers no proof of this or example where one Prophet contradicted another. Why? Because there is no such example.

In the New Testament, Jesus claimed to speak for God, as did the self-declared, late-to-the-party Apostle Paul. Peter and other apostles also vied for acceptance as their god’s mouthpiece, and the competition sometimes got quite fierce.

Again more assertion and no evidence. Given that Jesus is God, saying that he knows what God thinks and wants would make sense. As for Paul and Peter and the New Testament apostles and writers, we have the same case as for Moses and the Old Testament prophets: the consistency of their message speaks volumes as evidence for single source.

Today, nothing has really changed, except that with the various platforms of mass communication, there are ever so many more people who are eager to tell us the demands of their invisible deity. Lately, their god seems very obsessed with gays, although to be fair, Rev. Fred Phelps has been telling us for quite a long time that “God hates fags.”

"Invisible deity" does not equal "non-existent deity". The Bible tells us what God thinks about a great many of human behavior and activities. Fred Phelps does not epitomize the Biblical message at all and citing him as an example of someone who thinks they speak for God but doesn't fits this article really nicely but notice the vast number of Bible-believing Christians who realize that their opinions and concepts do not line up with the Bible and changes themselves to conform to God's viewpoint. They are out there too right along with the liars and hypocrites

The talking heads of the religious right churn out their doomsday pronouncements like clockwork:

[Go to the original post linked to the end to see the videos cited for "evidence"] For the sake of argument, let's agree that the article's author is correct about the people in the video. What difference does it make? None. Them being wrong does not invalidate the Bible nor God's existence.

For Catholics, the Pope is God’s voice on earth. For Protestants, at the local church level you have pastors telling people what the Man Upstairs expects of them. If you are in a Pentecostal church, it is even worse because through “tongues and interpretation” and “prophecies”, church members will issue spontaneous communications from heaven. This provides an open forum for every narcissistic attention-seeker to run wild. If only I had a dollar for every bogus ‘word from the Lord’ which I encountered over the years…

Anyone who only takes the word of another human being about what God expects of them deserves what they get - nothing. You can know God for yourself and you can check what they say against scripture. That is how you know if it is bogus or not. 

The point I would like to make is: In all of these instances, the only thing we actually have is humans telling us what their god thinks, feels, and wants. Never once do we have a miraculous voice from the sky in which God speaks for himself.

Oh finally there is a point...such as it is. No proof is offered showing us that Biblical revelation is not from God and the assumption being made that the only valuable evidence would be a "miraculous voice from the sky". Why? God does not live in the sky.God is everywhere. And God has already done that. Remember when Jesus was baptized? God did exactly that - speak from the sky - and people Green still reject the message. 

We have lots of press agents, but never once a public sighting of, or statement from the celebrity they claim to represent.

Oddly revealing isn’t it?

Yeah. Reveals a failed epistemology on Green's part. There are quite a few celebrities that are now reclusive and no long appear in public...for years!  People don't go around arguing that they never existed. This is truly a horrible argument.  Where is the "A" material?

If the Christian God truly existed, and wanted to make his thoughts known, he should be able to do that quite easily. I mean, if the aliens in the TV show “V” could appear over 29 major cities simultaneously and communicate a message, then it should be no big deal for a god to do something similar. An unmistakably supernatural communication from Yahweh, which each person heard in their own language, with no middleman, would clear up all confusion sown by competing denominations and theologies.

God has chosen to reveal himself to us the way he has done it. He put you in the best possible circumstances that you could find Him (see Acts 17)  and He has chosen to use the proclamation of the Gospel to draw people to Him If you don't like it, take it up with God. Most denominations are different from the stand point of traditions and worship styles - pick the one that gets you closest to God. As for choosing correct theologies - that is what the Bible is for - read it.

 But it hasn’t happened, and it won’t.

It doesn't need to.

The reason it won't is because the god of the Bible doesn’t exist.

Sure would like to see him prove that. 

That’s why Christians spend so much time speaking on his behalf.

That's not proof. That's completely wrong. Christian spend time talking on God's behalf so that people have not heard about God or know God can know that they are living beneath their privilege. They can have more. 

He is the dummy sitting on their knee, while they play the ventriloquist, projecting their fears and desires and prejudices with a godlike inflection. I think the fact that they talk so much on his behalf is a clue that deep in some dark, repressed corner of their reason, they know that if they stop speaking on behalf of God, there will be a deafening silence.

And then comes the insult. If you think that being a Christian means projecting your thoughts, emotions, prejudices and other foibles on  God, then you are doing it wrong. When I read the Bible and find out what God is like, I find a being wholly different than me and even something that if it had have been up to me would be different. That is how I know I'm not just saying that God agrees with me. He doesn't.  I have to agree with him  and that means changing what I think, feel, and do - and so does everyone else!

I realize that the picture on the left is meant to be derisive, but I agree with it because God does tell us when He doesn't like how we live. It's just that without salvation you are so trapped in your own sin you can't see how to get out of it.

So how about it Christians?

 A simple, modest experiment. For one month, no telling the world what your god wants, thinks, or hates. Also, while we’re at it, how about stopping the dishonest trickery of attributing things that humans accomplish to God – for example when doctors and nurses save a life , you don’t get to praise your Invisible Friend for that.

One month. Let’s see just how much your god can accomplish with no help from you…

God does not need my help, nor anyone else. I have a counter offer. If we can't thank God for anything good or for saving lives in a hospital, then unbelievers can't blames God for any evil and suffering. the  Euthyphro Dilemma and Problem of Evil and  Problem of Suffering arguments cannot be used. I don't think anyone will agree to this because it's the only argument they have although it's completely full of complete and utter failure.

Any takers?

You first.

Debunking Christianity: Why Do Christians Speak for God?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Responding to The West Wing, Homosexuality Argument

Back in 2008, Dr James White responded to the argument against the Bible's teachings on Homosexuality as set forth in the following clip:

Listen to James White explain how the objections show only a surface level understanding of what the Bible says. Follow the link below to hear the program.

Today on <i>The Dividing Line:</i> The Supreme Court, the Law of God, Barack Obama, <i>The West Wing,</i> Pagan Superstitions about the Dead, and Patrick Madrid

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Truthbomb Apologetics: Debate Video: Fazale Rana vs. Michael Ruse on Evolution vs. Design

Here is a great debate about Evolution and Intelligent Design. Rana won this one

Truthbomb Apologetics: Debate Video: Fazale Rana vs. Michael Ruse on Evolution vs. Design

▶ Do Humans Have Free Will? (J.P. Moreland) - YouTube

I disagree with JP Moreland, but this is interesting because this the only subject that I have ever seen that I disagree with him about. Human nature is marred and broken to the point that we are enslaved to sin. That's not free.

▶ Do Humans Have Free Will? (J.P. Moreland) - YouTube

White Like Me: Race, Racism & White Privilege in America

I just heard about a documentary called "White Like Me".

White Like Me, based on the work of acclaimed anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise, explores race and racism in the U.S. through the lens of whiteness and white privilege. In a stunning reassessment of the American ideal of meritocracy and claims that we've entered a post-racial society, Wise offers a fascinating look back at the race-based white entitlement programs that built the American middle class, and argues that our failure as a society to come to terms with this legacy of white privilege continues to perpetuate racial inequality and race-driven political resentments today.

For years, Tim Wise's bestselling books and spellbinding lectures have challenged some of our most basic assumptions about race in America. White Like Me is the first film to bring the full range of his work to the screen -- to show how white privilege continues to shape individual attitudes, electoral politics, and government policy in ways too many white people never stop to think about.

Features Tim Wise, Michelle Alexander, Charles Ogletree, Imani Perry, Martin Gilens, John H. Bracey, Jr., and Nilanjana Dasgupta.  

Here is a trailer for the film

Here is a lecture from Tim Wise

Tim Wise - The Pathology of White Privilege from Jack Kooyman on Vimeo.

White Like Me: Race, Racism & White Privilege in America

Saturday, August 10, 2013

High Five of the Day - Stand to Reason | Unstringing the Violinist

Greg Koukl wrote a very good response to the following argument supporting Abortion. 

But now let me ask you to imagine this. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, "Look, we're sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you—we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist now is plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it's only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.

Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation? No doubt it would be very nice of you if you did, a great kindness. But do you have to accede to it? What if it were not nine months, but nine years? Or longer still? What if the director of the hospital says, "Tough luck, I agree, but you've now got to stay in bed, with the violinist plugged into you, for the rest of your life. Because remember this. All persons have a right to life, and violinists are persons. Granted you have a right to decide what happens in and to your body, but a person's right to life outweighs your right to decide what happens in and to your body. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him." I imagine you would regard this as outrageous,[2] which suggests that something really is wrong with that plausible-sounding argument I mentioned a moment ago.
The argument is designed to give people the dilemma of agreeing that in a particular circumstance it is okay to end the life of a person and that it's no different than when it comes to abortion. It's a clever argument designed to make you scratch your head and at first blush agree to it. However with a little bit of thought it is plain to see that the violinist metaphor fails on several levels. Follow the link to see Greg Koukl's answer.

Stand to Reason | Unstringing the Violinist

Thursday, August 8, 2013

FacePlant of the Day - Debunking Christianity: Two Places Where St. Paul’s Theology Totally Contradicts The Gospel of Matthew’s Credibility

Harry H. McCall continues to fall all over himself as he continues his ill-fated attempt to provide reasons for his hypocrisy and apostasy.  His latest attempt tries to set the book of Matthew against Paul's letters.

Christians who accept the Bible (especially the New Testament) as an inspired text will have to deal with the fact that there are some major problems between St. Paul’s view of history and the Gospel of Matthew’s view of historical events.   Ironically, the dogmatic historical certainly of Paul and that of the First Gospel puts yet another nail into the coffin of Christian absolute truth and its holy theology.
Hmmm....wonder what McCall means by "First Gospel"? Does he hold to Matthean Priority? Oh well. Let's see if he can substantiate his charges.

Paul’s View of Events:
. . .that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve (τος δώδεκα).” (1 Corinthians 15: 4 – 5)
Matthew’s View of Events:
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.”  (Matt. 27: 5) 

However, contrary to the Gospel of Matthew, Judas had already hanged himself well before Jesus was even crucified, thus leaving only eleven apostles. So how could there be still have been twelve apostles as Judas was dead and Matthias was not yet chosen:  “Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.” (See:  Acts 1: 23 -26)

Now where does any of the Gospels say that Matthias was not one of the people who were with the eleven when Jesus showed them He was alive. One of the qualifications to be an Apostle was that you had to be an eye witness to the risen Christ and on top of that Matthias was not the only one outside of the eleven who fit the criteria to be apostle. Paul was counting Matthias as on of the twelve. (See Acts 1: 15 - 26). Obviously, McCall did not read enough or closely.
Paul’s View of Events:
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. / /  But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Corinthians 15: 20 & 23)
Matthew’s View of Events:
The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. (Matthew 27: 51b – 53)
Paul had no knowledge of these dead saints who beat Jesus at his own resurrection game.  So the Christian believer is faced with the hard dilemma of either accepting the Matthean view of historical proofs or Paul’s major Christian eschatology. Either Matthew is caught in a lie, or Paul does NOT know what the hell he’s talking about  . . . or likely both!

Well at least, McCall is admitting Matthew is right. But so is Paul. Resurrection is more than just coming back to life. It means that you never die again. It means getting a transformed body. McCall should recognized this given that he just quoted 1st Corinthians 15 above. Jesus is the only recorded case of someone being Resurrected. Everyone else in the Bible who was brought back from death later died. McCall is making category errors...again. Added to that we must not forget that these people would not have been dead for that long so of course Jerusalem's inhabitants would have recognized them. If you had been wealthy or fortunate enough to have been buried in a tomb, of course your loved ones would have dug up your bone and put them into an ossuary and the tomb recycled for someone else according to customs at the time. Therefore we know that the people who had been raised from the dead, like Lazarus but not like Jesus, would not not have been for a very long time if they were walking out of tombs. . 

Debunking Christianity: Two Places Where St. Paul’s Theology Totally Contradicts The Gospel of Matthew’s Credibility

▶ [William Lane Craig] Q&A - If God foreknows all my decisions, do I have free will? - YouTube

Here is a great summary on the views of Dr William Lane Craig on free will. I disagree with him. He thinks that God knows the future just because he knows what we will do in each and every situation and does nothing to intervene or interfere. I don't think so. While I don't think that God completely controls our every thought and action. Everything that happens is not outside of God's control  or knowledge.

▶ [William Lane Craig] Q&A - If God foreknows all my decisions, do I have free will? - YouTube

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Truthbomb Apologetics: God and Abstract Objects

I think that this particular podcast is very interesting. William Lane Craig discusses abstract objects and how they relate to God.  It bothered me that Craig, while arguing that Moral values and obligations can only be grounded in the being of God, he does not want to think the same of abstract objects. Mathematics and morals are all sourced from God. Follow the link to get to the podcast.

Truthbomb Apologetics: God and Abstract Objects

▶ Sam Harris vs Reza Aslan Full Unedited Video - YouTube

Here is a great debate. I had a very hard time with this debate because when a Muslim debates an Atheists because it is hard to know who to root for. I mean they are both wrong in so many ways but it is interesting to see how a celebrated atheist like Harris would argue against a liberal westernized Muslim like Aslan.  They disagreed about a few things but instead focused on their differences.

▶ Sam harris vs Reza Aslan Full Unedited Video - YouTube

Truthbomb Apologetics: Video: The Real Jesus- New Evidence from History and Archeology by Historian Paul Maier

Chad, from Truthbomb Apologetics, has posted  a really great lecture from Paul Maier about the historical and archeological evidence for Jesus Christ.

Truthbomb Apologetics: Video: The Real Jesus- New Evidence from History and Archeology by Historian Paul Maier

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Better Interviews of Reza Aslan than Fox News

The more interviews of Reza Aslan that I hear, the more upset I am regarding their interview. There is so much I disagree with him about but the way Fox News handled the interview really sucked badly. Instead of really engaging him on what he wrote and what he believes about the origins of Christianity, they butchered their chance at really getting the truth out there. I wonder if this was calculated because that interview put him on the map and he sold more books than he would have otherwise. And while the following interview is good, I want to see an interview challenging him on his conclusions and "facts".  Here is hoping he will do some of those type interviews.

▶ Jennifer Crumpton interviews Reza Aslan, author of "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth"

▶ Jennifer Crumpton interviews Reza Aslan, author of "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth" - YouTube

Debunking Christianity: Two New Books on the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier and Robert Price

John Loftus has recently posted an article discussing two books by Richard Carrier and Robert Price challenging the Historicity of  Jesus' existence. Carrier has finally decided to write a book trying to explain what he thinks about Jesus. Price has been up front and honest that he does not think that Jesus existed and that most historians and scholar (Christians or not) disagree with him. However up until now Carrier has not been as dogmatic about it, but just suggested that Jesus did not exist. Loftus posted the following video. Carrier does not make a point to allege that he can prove emphatically that Jesus did not exist, but now he has written a book. I won't try to say that he is now saying the he can prove that Jesus did not exist because I have not read the book. However, the video does seem to explain that Carrier thinks that it is reasonable to hold the idea that Jesus may not have existed. 

Richard Carrier's version

However Bart Ehrman says something qualitatively different

Bart Ehrman's Version

So which is it? Ehrman is an Agnostic. Carrier is an atheist. They both reject the Bible as being infallible. They both reject Christianity. They both reject Jesus' Resurrection. They disagree about Jesus' existence as a living person. They both can't be right.  How do you know? The preponderance of evidence is on Ehrman's side. What about other professional historian?

Various other Historians

Debunking Christianity: Two New Books on the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier and Robert Price

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What is the Kalam Cosmological Argument? Video - Apologetics 315

This video summarizes the Kalam Cosmological Argument!

What is the Kalam Cosmological Argument? Video - Apologetics 315

FacePalm of the Day - Debunking Christianity: Neuroscience is Destroying the Notions of Free Will, Sin and Salvation by Faith

It's posts like this that makes me question if John Loftus was ever really a Christian. I mean it's like he has no idea what Christians believe or what the Bible teaches that Christians should believe. Take a look at his intro paragraph.

Neuroscience is making it extremely difficult for believers to still claim that by freely choosing to believe we are saved (or condemned), that we freely choose to sin, or that there is a wrathful God who will judge us on the last day. Case in point, girls and boys, are the following two essays, the last of which I will quote from. The first is Grandma’s Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes. Now for the second one, "The Brain on Trial." [Be sure to read this essay at least as far as the highlighted money quote in red!].
Where does the Bible say that we freely choose sin? But I want to hold off on that a moment and point out what Loftus considers the main point.

The crux of the problem is that it no longer makes sense to ask, “To what extent was it his biology, and to what extent was it him?,” because we now understand that there is no meaningful distinction between a person’s biology and his decision-making. They are inseparable. 
Has Loftus ever read the Bible? I ask because he seems to fail to recognize that the Bible does not teach that people are "all adults possess the same capacity to make sound choices." We don't. We, by default, are broken and hostile to God and God's ways. We are not good outside of God's mercy and influence - even the atheist who does something good for someone else. This is not new information. Sin is hardcoded in us - post fall. Adam and Eve are the only other human beings other than Jesus Christ who know what it is like not to be driven to commit sin. Therefore neuroscience does not destroy what Christians believe about sin or salvation but instead underscores why we need it. Everyone is broken to different degrees and in different ways. You might not desire to kill others, but just like the articles point out, given the circumstances you don't really know what you would or would not do. Everyone needs a savior because we are not free or independent. We are held hostage by sin - which is even a part of our biology.

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. - Psalm 51:5

22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. - Romans 3:22-24

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—  - Romans 5:12

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. - Romans 8:5-8

I can already hear the objection because people have been using it since Adam messed up in the Garden of Eden. If we are slaves to sin, and God allowed us to come here that way, why does he hold us responsible? Asked and Answered along time ago.

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? - Romans 8:19-24

It's tight but it's right. You can fool yourself into thinking that you just happen to be better than the people you like compare yourself with or you can admit your own failing and be free of your prison. If you want to be free that is God drawing you to Jesus. Reach out and take the salvation Jesus is offering you.

Debunking Christianity: Neuroscience is Destroying the Notions of Free Will, Sin and Salvation by Faith