Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Atheists and their comboxes

Just a quick comment about recent interactions, specifically w/ Moth and Troy Waller.
Each has protested to me about the way I interacted w/ them. I don't believe I was particularly rude to them. I certainly never used (and never use at all) any profanity or obscene insults. I never said anythg resembling "you are an idiot".
What I DID do was dismantle their arguments and answer their objections, in a few cases several times and in a few other cases answered a few follow-ups to the original objection.
For that, Troy refuses to post any more of my comments on his blog.

Now, as I told Moth in this combox, he and Troy have implicitly opened themselves up for interactions like this. Why?
B/c each is a guy who:
1) posts his thoughts about Christianity,
2) on a blog w/ a polemic nature and a polemical name (The Ain't-Christian and Why I Don't Believe);
3) has thereby opened himself up to debate from those who disagree (like me), and
4) who has thus far shown willingness to discuss, in line w/ the nature of his blog.

However, when the going got tough for Troy, he banned me.
When the going got tough for Moth, to his credit, he did indeed post my comments and make a response (albeit not in a way that responded to the substance of my arguments but rather pleaded lack of time or of "something that would come close to your level of intellectuality" [his words] on his part).
Now, Moth has asked me to leave well enough alone as far as leaving challenging comments in his combox. I will honor that as long as the subject matter does not directly involve my person.

I simply ask the reader: how seriously can we take someone who fulfills the 4 points above but who runs away from at least semi-knowledgeable challenges? Where does the "free thinking" reside?
Troy flat refused.
Moth tried for a while, was called on several mistakes, particularly in regards to biblical exegesis, and then resorted to insulting me in several comboxes.

As always, comments are welcome from anyone. Beware though - I'll probably answer them.

9 comments:

Moth said...

Hi, Me Peter. I like yellow and bouncy things.

Anonymous said...

2) God Himself is laughing at you (Psalm 2) so I don't see why I can't or shouldn't 3) I'd be really very interested in knowing how I can be sure, according to your own worldview, that being amused by you or even belittling you is morally wrong. Could you help me out w/ understanding that?

--- Hi, just trolling through. Is that really part of your creedo? I saw the following quote on 'Debunking' and it made me think of ya'll:

"What would you hope to accomplish by mocking and laughing at an unbeliever? Will this help the unbeliever accept what you are saying? Will this help other Christians feel better about their faith? Does this honor God more than dispassionate reasoning?"

Rhology said...

Hi Anon,

You're welcome to troll. I hope you're the kind of troll who comes back to read responses and interact.

--Is that really part of your creedo?
>>What? Psalm 2? That God laughs at mockers? Yes it is. Look, if you read Psalm 2, you'll see that God laughs at mockers who devise their schemes against Him. They act first. He laughs in response. But God has a personality just like the people made in His image do - He is certainly capable of several emotions at the same time.
He also desires that all come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:1-4) and He is sorrowful at the way that so many people reject Him (Matthew 23:37-39).

--What would you hope to accomplish by mocking and laughing at an unbeliever?
>>I would be acting like God, which is my #1 goal in life.

--Will this help the unbeliever accept what you are saying?
>>Nothing I say will help the unbeliever, who is dead in sin, accept what he believes to be foolish garbage (1 Corinthians 2:14-15). It would take the work of the Holy Spirit in his heart to get that done. But I never can tell when the Holy Spirit might use my words as a vehicle for His work.

--Will this help other Christians feel better about their faith?
>>It may well. It helps me.

--Does this honor God more than dispassionate reasoning?
>>Two responses:
1) It honors God b/c it is an imitation of Him.
2) I don't know if it honors Him *more* than dispassionate reasoning, but I suspect reasoning honors Him more, yes. That's why I included far more dispassionate reasoning in my interactions w/ Troy and Moth than I included of whatever you are objecting to here.
If you disagree, I'd love to see your citations thereof.

Peace,
ALAN

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify:

You believe your god to be one that scoffs, (makes fun of) and laughs at those who do not believe in him, and to emulate those qualities is your main priority in life? It makes you feel good, and it honors him?

This is from the same psalmist who wrote in 59:5-10 that God should not show mercy but should laugh as he kills his enemies?

Rhology said...

Hi Anon,

--You believe your god to be one that...laughs at those who do not believe in him
>>If you read Ps 2, you'll see that, as I said, the Lord laughs at and destroys those who plot and scheme, who mock God. They start it. He will finish it.

--to emulate those qualities is your main priority in life?
>>What I said was, "I would be acting like God, which is my #1 goal in life."

--It makes you feel good, and it honors him?
>>Whether I feel good is irrelevant. It does honor Him.

--This is from the same psalmist who wrote in 59:5-10 that God should not show mercy but should laugh as he kills his enemies?
>>Yes it is.
It's funny how you cited the psg but didn't take into acct to whom this act of destruction will accrue.
"my enemies" v.1
"those who work evil" v.1
"bloodthirsty men" v.1
"they lie in wait for my life" v.2 - these are murderers
"who treacherously plot evil" v.5
"'Who,' they think, 'will hear us?'" v.7 - they are blasphemers

So... it sounds like you are taking the side of evil, bloodthirsty murderers over and against the God Who is described in Scripture as a loving, merciful, just God. I wonder why you would do that?

Anonymous said...

So basically your answer is, "Yes, all the attributes of the Old Testament god are ones I would like to mimic, while laughing all the way", including murder, rape and an extraordinary lack of mercy for a god whose 'mercy endures to the end'.

Luckily God left no blog to comment on because I'm sure he'd be red-faced at his following boasts and exploits. Let us mock and scoff at the bloody carcasses of those women and children:

Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. ... The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows... They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children. (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)

And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children." (Hosea 9:11-16 NLT)

"Then the LORD said, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone ... Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt (Exodus 12:29-30 NLT)

With you I will shatter men and women, old people and children, young men and maidens. With you I will shatter shepherds and flocks, farmers and oxen, captains and rulers. (Jeremiah 51:20-26)

Anonymous said...

For that, Troy refuses to post any more of my comments on his blog....However, when the going got tough for Troy, he banned me.

Well, it is his blog. Thank god we have some freedoms left post-9/11. The way I see it he stopped interacting with you when you got rude and impolite. But I suspect you have been banned other places in the past no? Hmmm, I also suspect you feel that a lot of Christians don't 'understand you' either right? Perhaps it isn't everyone else that has the problem Alan.

You seem to get upset when people won't do what you want them to do. Most of us live in free countries though and we don't all have to get along or talk to one another.

You labelled this post as 'cowardly actions'. Perhaps you should relabel it as 'do it my way or I'll get pissed off'.

I wonder if Evangelical Christianity attracts people like you or turns people into people like you. Either way, it seems that there are a lot of socially handicapped churchgoers.

Moth said...

Ouch. Making cyberfriends and influencing people.

btw

http://search.blogger.com/

is in beta mode for searching blogs. try it it's cool.

Mothy

Rhology said...

Hi Anon,

Your persistence is admired - it is a marked contrast to others I've dealt w/ recently.

--"Yes, all the attributes of the Old Testament god are ones I would like to mimic, while laughing all the way"
>>Yes.

--including murder, rape
>>Those aren't attributes, they are actions.

--murder
>>Please present a brief case how, according to your worldview, God putting lawbreaking humans to death is morally objectionable.

--rape
>>Where did God command rape?

--extraordinary lack of mercy
>>How do you figure? It seems to me that the people that God put to death were lawbreakers and were just making their eternal destination way worse by continuing to live in such a horrible way.
Besides, God doesn't have to let any of us live longer than our 1st sin. The fact that we live long enough to sin 100s of 1000s of times in our lives is a bigger testament to God's mercy than anything other than sending His own Son to die for our sins. For those who have eyes to see, that is.

--I'm sure he'd be red-faced at his following boasts and exploits.
>>Why do you think so? Why would He have changed His mind about those things since then?


Other Anon comment,

--Well, it is his blog.
>>Of course it is. He has the right to post attacks against my faith on his blog. I don't think I ever objected to that.
What I DO object to is, as I said, he is a guy who:
1) posts his thoughts about Christianity,
2) on a blog w/ a polemic nature and a polemical name (Why I Don't Believe);
3) has thereby opened himself up to debate from those who disagree (like me), and
4) who has thus far shown willingness to discuss, in line w/ the nature of his blog.

But when he met a challenge from someone who at least knows a little sthg, he backed off, and backed off fast, slandering me in the process.

--Thank god we have some freedoms left post-9/11.
>>It's you, not me, making this some kind of 'intellectual freedom' issue in terms of gov't. I'm talking about intellectual honesty here.

--The way I see it he stopped interacting with you when you got rude and impolite.
>>What did I say that was rude or impolite? I'd like to know that from your own perspective. From my own, I believe I was interacting w/ what he said. It looks to me like he likes to rule the roost when he is unchallenged or when he can pick on people who don't know their stuff (much like his buds Brian Sapient and the Rational Responders Squad).

Do you think that I've been rude or impolite to you? If so, in what way? I would note that we've already had more discussion, you and I, than I had w/ Troy.

--But I suspect you have been banned other places in the past no?
>>At the Tiber Jumper's place, yes. For the same reasons. Cowardice in the face of a challenge is also a reasonably possible explanation.

--I also suspect you feel that a lot of Christians don't 'understand you' either right?
>>No, that is not accurate.
And BTW, since we're talking about politeness and rudeness, do you believe it is generally polite to attempt to psychoanalyse someone that you've only just met?

--You seem to get upset when people won't do what you want them to do.
>>What makes you think I'm upset?
Also, do you really think it is unreasonable to think that someone w/ a highly polemical nature of blog might want to dialogue and defend their position? Given that, might not someone like me who wants to challenge their view feel disappointed in that person's intellectual honesty when they refuse to do just that?
What if you just came thru and posted your 1st comment and I banned YOU? What would you think of me then?

--Perhaps you should relabel it as 'do it my way or I'll get pissed off'.
>>Speaking of politeness.
Were I Troy, by now you'd be banned and I wouldn't have even posted this comment.
But I am more fair-minded than he.

--it seems that there are a lot of socially handicapped churchgoers.
>>Are you saying that not agreeing w/ you makes me "socially handicapped"? On what basis do you assert sthg like this?


Moth,

--Making cyberfriends and influencing people.
>>You know, you, Troy, and Anon have all taken this air of superiority about you, as if you are clean and pristine and I am the big bad insulting guy. It doesn't make me angry, but I *do* think that it is very telling.

And thanks for the link for searching blogger. The way of searching google you recommended was helpful already, too.

Peace,
ALAN

PS: Anon, just to make sure you know, you are welcome to say anythg you want here. I've never deleted anyone's comments or banned them.