Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A brief comparison


"Then I learned that all moral judgments are 'value judgments,' that all value judgments are subjective, and that none can be proved to be either 'right' or 'wrong.' I even read somewhere that the Chief Justice of the United States had written that the American Constitution expressed nothing more than collective value judgments. Believe it or not, I figured out for myself--what apparently the Chief Justice couldn't figure out for himself--that if the rationality of one value judgment was zero, multiplying it by millions would not make it one whit more rational. Nor is there any 'reason' to obey the law for anyone, like myself, who has the boldness and daring--the strength of character--to throw off its shackles...I discovered that to become truly free, truly unfettered, I had to become truly uninhibited. And I quickly discovered that the greatest obstacle to my freedom, the greatest block and limitation to it, consists in the insupportable 'value judgment' that I was bound to respect the rights of others. I asked myself, who were these 'others?' Other human beings, with human rights? Why is it more wrong to kill a human animal than any other animal, a pig or a sheep or a steer? Is your life more than a hog's life to a hog? Why should I be willing to sacrifice my pleasure more for the one than for the other? Surely, you would not, in this age of scientific enlightenment, declare that God or nature has marked some pleasures as 'moral' or 'good' and others as 'immoral' or 'bad'? In any case, let me assure you, my dear young lady, that there is absolutely no comparison between the pleasure that I might take in eating ham and the pleasure I anticipate in raping and murdering you. That is the honest conclusion to which my education has led me--after the most conscientious examination of my spontaneous and inhibited self."--Ted Bundy, Quoted from Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong, 5th edition, p.30
(Hat tip, Paul Manata)


"Make a moral statement and then try to prove it—from square one—with no presuppositional appeals. If objective moral “laws” exist, they should be like the universe’s physical constants…unaffected by one’s viewpoint...
These are issues about which we are ignorant because, even if facts are discoverable, we have no certainty as to what a relevant fact might be or how the facts might converge to form a conclusion. Is acting quality relevant to the “best film” question? Who decides what acting is good and what is wretched? Is being divisible by two relevant to the “best number” question? If so, who decides whether that would be propitious or deleterious?

Such is morality." -The Jolly Nihilist

38 comments:

Paul C said...

Just a question so I understand your position: do you believe

a) that Bundy's murders were caused by his atheism (e.g. precedent rationalisation);

b) that Bundy's atheism was caused by his murders (e.g subsequent rationalisation);

c) something else that I haven't described here?

Rhology said...

I'm a big believer in reading a text and its context and drawing conclusions therefrom. I shan't speculate here.

Paul C said...

Yes, and I'm asking you what conclusions you've drawn from this text and its context.

John Morales said...

Me too.

I'd consider it offensive if you're implying JN is a potential Ted Bundy, because of some shared intellectual beliefs.

What exactly is your point, Rhology?

Here's another brief comparison:
Arthur Shelton - "I'm a Christian"
Rhology - "I'm a Christian"

sixstrung said...

JM,
I'd say "nice try", but it's not...it's nothing more than a lazy argument. A comparison of labels doesn't equate to a comparison of stated beliefs. You'd be hard-pressed to argue that Arthur Shelton acted in accordance with the Christian worldview. On the other hand, Ted Bundy's actions were completely consistent with his worldview: one devoid of objective morality, where seeking and obtaining pleasure (however he chose to define it) was the only point. According to his own worldview, Bundy's actions were completely rational.

The point of the post was obviously to highlight the similarities between Ted Bundy's worldview and that espoused by JN. If you willfully ignore these similarities then I can't help you.

Going further back, JN has continually asked why his worldview "scares" Rhology. This post serves as a rather effective and illustrative response. If you find the comparison "offensive", I'd like to know why. Further, if JN's worldview holds true, why should Rhology care that you find it offensive?

Paul C said...

Going further back, JN has continually asked why his worldview "scares" Rhology.

Actually, that was me.

This post serves as a rather effective and illustrative response.

No it doesn't. This post serves as an effective response to the question "Why should Rhology be scared of psychopathic mass murderers" - unless he believes that Bundy's atheism lead him to mass murder. That's why I asked for clarification, which he refuses to provide. I can only assume he's being so coy because he's run out of actual arguments and would rather try transparent and facile smear tactics.

John Morales said...

sixstrung, well done in outright saying it when Rhology wouldn't.

The point of the post was obviously to highlight the similarities between Ted Bundy's worldview and that espoused by JN. If you willfully ignore these similarities then I can't help you.

JN may agree with
"all moral judgments are 'value judgments,' that all value judgments are subjective, and that none can be proved to be either 'right' or 'wrong.'"
but it is offensive to imply that he agrees with
"Nor is there any 'reason' to obey the law for anyone, like myself, who has the boldness and daring--the strength of character--to throw off its shackles"
or
"I quickly discovered that the greatest obstacle to my freedom, the greatest block and limitation to it, consists in the insupportable 'value judgment' that I was bound to respect the rights of others."

---

As I see it, Arthur acted in accordance with the Christian worldview about as much as Ted acted in accordance with a rationalist worldview.

What there is no denying is that Arthur was a dedicated Christian.

He believed himself a zealous Christian:
On the second day of the trial the court played the videotape of the late night interrogation with Arthur Shelton. He appeared calm, cooperative and enjoyed the cookies and milk he was served. Once again Arthur was obsessed about talking about God and the Eagle Scouts. He stated he "was not sorry for a second that he killed Hooper." He stated, "In the eyes of the law I was wrong and will probably spend the rest of my life in prison, but in the eyes of God I have killed an evil person -- the devil himself." And when Arthur took the witness stand in his own defense he reiterated much of the same ideas.

Day three of the trial we heard summary arguments. The defense had little problem proving that Arthur is obsessed with religion, God and Eagle Scouts and pleaded for a verdict of not guilty due to insanity. The prosecution had little problem proving that Arthur was competent, knew the difference between right and wrong and called for a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree. As this was a wavered trial Judge Bill rendered his verdict quickly -- guilty of second-degree murder with mental illness.

---

Cookies and milk!

John Morales said...

PS if one considers Ted's moral code an enabling factor to his acting on his evil desires, then in exactly the same vein but worse is Arthur's God-belief, which was a causal factor in his evil action.

Ted did what he did because he did not care whether it was moral or not; Arthur did what he thought God told him to do, as a True Believer should.

Both knew what they were doing was considered murder by the community, but neither cared.

Anyway, from what I can see there Ted's morality consisted of "If I want to do it, it's moral", whatever its metaphysical basis may have been.

That's nothing like what JN has described, and you know it.
And we know you know it, and that you are just doing the Weeble thing with this "comparison" - i.e. to imply atheists are amoral.

This time, the excuse is that part of a murderer's metaphysics matches part of one of the commenters here.

Actually, I feel a sense of déjà vu as I type this. Heh.

PPS
By now, usually someone thinks it's clever to call me Moral-less.
Trust me, it's not anything like original.

---

On a side note, Rhology, do you have no issue with your God ignoring Arthur's no doubt fervent prayers and hopes for salvation and genuine desire to please Him?

Apparently, God's purpose required Arthur's delusion that his friend was the Devil and the attendant consequences.

All to the greater Glory, I suppose, that a True Believer murder his friend and languish in jail.

There are regular news reports of atrocities performed in the name of God by mentally ill people, if you care to look.

If nothing else, this establishes that Christianity does not cure mental illness.

So, Rhology, you should pray and I will just hope that you don't become tragically deranged.

...Sorry, just teasing you with what you call hot air. :)

sixstrung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sixstrung said...

PC (and JN),
All apologies for the attribution error. It's something that I don't take lightly and as such, I will strive to be more diligent about it in this and future posts.

JM's subsequent posts are actually quite useful at getting to the heart of the issue as I see it (I certainly won't presume to speak for Rho's thoughts or intentions), so I'll address those. I apologize for the length.

First, my choice of the word 'rational' was ill-advised. The implication with that word is that Bundy's choice to commit mass-murder followed logically from an atheistic worldview...which we can both agree is absurd. What I meant to convey was that he didn't have to deviate from that worldview in order to commit those actions. Rather than an assertion of causality, it is an assertion of accomodation (again, my assertion, not Rho's).

On the other hand, Arthur Shelton most certainly had to deviate from the Christian worldview in order to commit his actions. JM states that "What there is no denying is that Arthur was a dedicated Christian." Actually, that's exactly what I'm denying. And so far, you've offered no proof to the contrary. The fact that he "believed himself a zealous Christian" doesn't make it true that he was a zealous Christian. You have cited zero evidence of either his "fervent prayers and hopes for salvation and genuine desire to please Him", or that fact that those were aimed at The God of The Bible. Until you can demonstrate that Arthur acted in accordance with The Bible, your argument is dead. In order to assure you that I'm not simply moving the target of the "Christian worldview" so that you can never pin me down (and because I can't demand an atheist to sift through every word of a book in which they don't believe...why should you?), I offer this as a rebuttal to the notion that he acted in accordance with the Christian worldview.

"There are regular news reports of atrocities performed in the name of God by mentally ill people, if you care to look." Please...there are regular news reports of atrocities performed in the name of nothing by people of all ilk (mentally ill or not). Again, just because something was "performed in the name of God" doesn't mean they actually acted in accordance with The Bible. Besides, do you really want to play the numbers game (you whip out the Crusades, I whip out Pol Pot, etc)?

The issue is, in fact, a familiar one: the subjective morality (not amorality, mind you) of the atheistic worldview versus the objective morality of the Christian worldview. And it's the same old question: on what objective basis can an atheist condemn Bundy's actions?

John Morales said...

Thanks for the clarification, Sixstrung.

Let me address your emendation:

What I meant to convey was that he [Ted Bundy] didn't have to deviate from that worldview in order to commit those actions.
...
On the other hand, Arthur Shelton most certainly had to deviate from the Christian worldview in order to commit his actions.


So, you're asserting that mass murder does not followe logically from an atheistic worldview, but but is compatible with that view.

You appear to be under the same (hopefully now corrected) misapprehension that Rhology was; and I addressed it here and elsewhere in this blog.

JM states that "What there is no denying is that Arthur was a dedicated Christian." Actually, that's exactly what I'm denying.

Ah, a Christian is who you say is a Christian, not someone who is obsessed with God and truly believes is a Christian, and who gives himself over to the belief so much they actually follow their conscience rather than the law.

You may deny this, but I think anyone who truly believes they are Christian is not misrepresented by being called Christian.

Again, just because something was "performed in the name of God" doesn't mean they actually acted in accordance with The Bible.

Nor does that an atheist does something imply that all atheists will.

You do understand there's no equivalent to the Bible for atheists, right?

John Morales said...

Oops, I somehow edited out a couple of paragraphs.

Oh well, I'll let it stand.

Paul C said...

The implication with that word is that Bundy's choice to commit mass-murder followed logically from an atheistic worldview...which we can both agree is absurd.

We can indeed agree that it is absurd. I would also like to congratulate you for having the courage of your convictions - as opposed to Rhology, who continues to hide behind feeble insinuations rather than make a case.

What I meant to convey was that he didn't have to deviate from that worldview in order to commit those actions. Rather than an assertion of causality, it is an assertion of accomodation (again, my assertion, not Rho's).

I'm (apparently) an atheist, and he had to deviate quite significantly from my "worldview", so I'm not sure your argument holds any water. Here's a thought, though - what if all this "worldview" stuff is complete and utter bullshit?

What if Ted Bundy and Arthur Shelton were both mentally abnormal individuals who just rationalised their actions using the framework they had to hand? And with one fell swoop, we've answered every single question about religion raised by both cases.

I love it when there's a simple answer, don't you?

And it's the same old question: on what objective basis can an atheist condemn Bundy's actions?

Personally, I don't think an atheist can condemn Bundy's actions on an objective basis, because I don't believe that there's an objective basis for morality. (Other atheists can and do disagree.) I also believe that Christians have no objective basis on which to condemn Bundy's actions, nor have I seen any arguments that suggest otherwise. Oh, you might *believe* that you have an objective basis - but that doesn't mean that you actually do. Nor does it mean that atheists have no grounds for condemning Bundy's actions - it's just that you're not satisfied with those grounds, which is in itself just another subjective opinion.

John Morales said...

I second Paul.

Indeed, I too speak for myself when I echo:
"personally, I don't think an atheist can condemn Bundy's actions on an objective basis, because I don't believe that there's an objective basis for morality."

I further concur:
"Other atheists can and do disagree."

Again: there is no such thing as atheist dogma. Many atheists share beliefs, but the Venn aggregate of atheist beliefs would encompass all subsets other than that of theists.

Some theists don't accept this, and guess what - some atheists don't either!

Self-dissention? or a rephrasing of what I just (and umpteen times before) have stated? I think the latter.

John Morales said...

Um, to be honest I'll echo everything Paul has said.

Not meaning to embarass Paul or anything... just saying.

I'm pretty sure there's plenty of stuff we disagree about - but not on this topic.

Rhology said...

Deleted the last comment b/c I said sthg that, on further reflection, was incorrect.

Anyway, just dropping in...

do you have no issue with your God ignoring Arthur's no doubt fervent prayers and hopes for salvation and genuine desire to please Him?

1) The guy murdered someone. And somehow his prayers are "no doubt fervent"? I have a few doubts, myself.
2) He had only to check God's revelation of Himself.
3) There are plenty of deluded and sinful people in the world. Maybe you could make the argument that God is obligated, on pain of acting immorally, to go to further lengths than He's already gone to do... what? I'm not even sure what you're looking for. God made a creation that reveals His existence, grandeur, and Law, put the Law on people's hearts, sent His Son to die for people's sins, and wrote a pretty lengthy book detailing His character and nature, and more. He'd be justified wringing His hands: "What more do you people WANT, anyway?"

Apparently, God's purpose required Arthur's delusion that his friend was the Devil and the attendant consequences.

I'd agree with that 100%.
Maybe you could make the argument that God is obligated, on pain of acting immorally, to go to further lengths than He's already gone to make it clear that this is not alright by Him, instead of making emotional appeals as you have so far done.

There are regular news reports of atrocities performed in the name of God by mentally ill people

There are also cases of people committing atrocities in the name of all values being ephemeral b/c they were atheists.
So what?

this establishes that Christianity does not cure mental illness.

I'd agree with you. I've never claimed it's a cure-all for illness.



And Paul C said:
what if all this "worldview" stuff is complete and utter bullshit?

That's too rich.
Paul, EVERYone has a worldview. You apparently think that words can convey meaning. That is a worldview claim. You can't prove it, can't provide direct evidence of it; you take it on faith. It's part of your worldview. I really advise you to lay off this point, as it's not the 1st time you've looked foolish making such a claim.

sixstrung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sixstrung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sixstrung said...

JM states that "You may deny this, but I think anyone who truly believes they are Christian is not misrepresented by being called Christian." Really? You are who you think you are? So if you truly believe that you're the fifth incarnation of Buddha, I wouldn't be misrepresenting the facts in the least to call you such? That's fantastic. Perhaps I should truly believe that I'm a rich man, so then my student loans would disappear.

You seem to be willfully ignorant of what the Christian worldview is. It makes sense, because if it were to ever be defined for you, then you wouldn't be able to ascribe to it whatever beliefs you choose. I get that. However, since atheism is defined by a negation (i.e., there is no God), rather than a positive assertion, it seems to me that if you were being intellectually honest and diligent, you would at least go to the trouble of trying to understand what (or Who) you are denying. And here it occurs to me that you may have never been presented with the Good News of Christ. If you are interested in discovering more about that which you deny, you can click here. Better yet, you can try reading The Bible. Or you can simply remain willfully ignorant and watch these discussions go nowhere.

In the meantime, I'll be praying for you JM, PC, and JN.

Rhology said...

I don't know if you all knew this, but I'm a Muslim.
Mohammed was a deceiver and no prophet, Allah is a demon, Jesus Christ is God incarnate. But I'm a Muslim. I really, really, really believe I am, and I'm saying it here. I'm confessing it. Shahadah and all that stuff. Or, part of the Shahadah. Actually, none of it. But I'm still a Muslim b/c I believe I am.

Paul C said...

Paul, EVERYone has a worldview. You apparently think that words can convey meaning. That is a worldview claim. You can't prove it, can't provide direct evidence of it; you take it on faith. It's part of your worldview. I really advise you to lay off this point, as it's not the 1st time you've looked foolish making such a claim.

Words can convey meaning, otherwise this discussion wouldn't exist. The statement is its own evidence. You really aren't up to this, are you?

The problem you have is that your version of "worldviews" doesn't explain anything at all; in fact, it raises more questions than it answers.

You just read it in a book somewhere, and you thought it sounded cool. Now that you have to actually test it in the real world, not so cool.

Paul C said...

Sixstrung: Good to see you rolling out the classic defense of "Clearly you atheists don't understand ANYTHING about Christianity so I'm not going to talk to you any more." This is particularly amusing on the web, where you have literally no idea of the backgrounds of any of the people that you're dealing with. So why don't you explain to all of us how we can tell the "real" Christians from the "fake" Christians?

We've already heard from other Christians on this blog that you can't make a distinction based on their actions, by the way. So I look forward to hearing your 100% guaranteed test to help us sort the wheat from the chaff.

Also, how do I know that you're a "real" Christian?

Paul C said...

But I'm still a Muslim b/c I believe I am.

Fine by me.

What you don't seem to understand, Rhology, is that if you're standing outside a particular religious faith, any discussions about who is or isn't a member of that faith are strictly internal affairs. They're of literally no interest or relevance to the non-believer.

Rhology said...

no interest

Then you'll join me in calling out this line of questioning with respect to Arthur Whoever? B/c it's of no interest to you.
Right?

Paul C said...

Then you'll join me in calling out this line of questioning with respect to Arthur Whoever?

*Sigh*

No. My point is that I have no basis for deciding whether Shelton is a Christian or you are a Muslim other than what he or you tell me. Christians have very clearly been responsible for murder; I am told by other Christians that this is not "Christian behaviour" and they are not "real" Christians. As a result I have no way of identifying "Christian behaviour" (or "Muslim behaviour"), and I've been told on this very blog that people's actions are not a guide to the rightness of their beliefs are.

So no, I won't be joining you in this. Shelton's a Christian; you're a Muslim; Bundy's an atheist. My position is that people's religious faiths have almost nothing anything to do with their actions, apart from providing a narrative framework in which they try to understand their existing predispositions and place themselves in society.

sixstrung said...

The answer is simple: test their words and actions against the Word of God (aka The Bible). Again, it's not a moving target. It just seems to be a bit too much work for you.

Paul C said...

The answer is simple: test their words and actions against the Word of God (aka The Bible).

As far as I can tell, Christians can't agree amongst themselves what the Word of God says. Oh, you might be absolutely certain that your particular interpretation isn't a moving target - but how do I know that your interpretation as the correct one?

It just seems to be a bit too much work for you.

I'm not sure why I should have to do all the work to solve your internal disputes, to be honest.

sixstrung said...

"Oh, you might be absolutely certain that your particular interpretation isn't a moving target - but how do I know that your interpretation as the correct one?" Now you're making excuses for your ignorance. Why don't you try reading it, then maybe we can talk and you can draw your own conclusions.

"I'm not sure why I should have to do all the work to solve your internal disputes, to be honest." I never asked you to. Rather, I asked you to gain an understanding of that which (and Whom) you deny.

John Morales said...

You seem to be willfully ignorant of what the Christian worldview is.

Do I?
Perhaps I need to do research:
"Just as there are various versions of the Bible accepted as canon, there are varieties of Christian worldviews and even disputes of the meaning of the concept of a Christian worldview. This worldview definition and concept has changed with the canons: for example, the concept of a "three-story" universe is in several versions of the Bible - the heavens above, the earth beneath, and the underworld - what Northrop Frye indicated as the central clusters of the system of metaphors in the Bible - mountain, garden, and cave. Later Bibles include the notion of Hell to accommodate the emergence of this concept in Christian belief.

In other respects than the "three-story" universe, there are great differences among the biblical worldviews, including pre-Christian changes in the Torah. The Sadducean community to which most Temple priests belonged in the time of Jesus accepted only the first five books of the Torah as canon. The various schools of Pharisees accepted different sets of books.

The Evangelical Worldview is built upon the outline: Creation --> Fall --> Redemption --> Consummation."

I guess I remain willfully ignorant. See, I was raised in Spain in the 1960s. I spent years in a Jesuit boarding school. I was an altar boy here in Australia as a teenager.
I've gone to an awful lot of masses and had an awful lot of theology thrust upon me.

And from all that I've learnt in nearly 50 years, if I had to characterice the Christian worldview in one word, it would be "delusional".

However, since atheism is defined by a negation (i.e., there is no God), rather than a positive assertion, it seems to me that if you were being intellectually honest and diligent, you would at least go to the trouble of trying to understand what (or Who) you are denying.

What I hold is that I find no need to postulate the supernatural, about which I'm aware of no credible evidence.

I suppose that, yes, I deny that the Christian concept of God makes any sense.

And here it occurs to me that you may have never been presented with the Good News of Christ.

LOL. Assume I have, and probably more than you have.

The Good News is that there's nothing of substance in Christianity - what it offers is wishful thinking and an imaginary solution to an imaginary problem.

And, the more you preach at me, the more I'm going to express my opinion. It would be best to keep the preaching and retorts to a minimum, don't you think?

Right.

John Morales said...

Rhology,

[A Christian is anyone who truly believes they are Christian]
I don't know if you all knew this, but I'm a Muslim.

Subtle, you're not.

Again, you avoid addressing the substance of the point; who is a Christian?
---
The definition of who is a "Christian" varies among people and christian groups. Some believe that, to be a Christian, an individual must go to a church and participate in baptism. Others teach that instead a belief and acceptance in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is necessary. Some consider a Christian to be simply one who tries to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Some theologians consider a Christian to be anyone who accepts the Nicene Creed. This ancient text is accepted by Catholics, the Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans and all the remaining mainline Protestant Churches.

Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and many Protestants define a Christian as one who has become a member of the church through the sacrament of baptism. In these denominations, infants who are baptized may be considered Christians, although they are expected to make a personal affirmation of faith when old enough to decide for themselves.

Evangelical and fundamentalist denominations do not generally practice infant baptism. Some teach that "Believer's baptism" as a repenting adult is necessary for salvation — the transition from non-Christian to Christian. Others do not believe that baptism is necessary for salvation, but consider it an act of obedience and identification with Jesus. They encourage youth and adults to "become Christians" by personally "accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour". These groups also use the phrase "born-again" (referring to John 3:3) to describe becoming a Christian.

Others consider themselves Christian just by adhering to the teachings of Jesus Christ, without affiliating to any organized religion.

Within countries where Christianity is the historical majority religion, the term is also used by some in a casual generic sense to indicate that they are not members of nor affiliated with any other religion – therefore considering themselves Christians by default.
---

Well, that all sounds about right.
The only sense in which my definition is weak is that it excludes cultural Christians.

Just so I'm clear on this, Rhology, you do agree that Catholics are Christians. Right?

John Morales said...

I can't resist...

Rhology, as a Muslim, what do you think of these? :)

Paul C said...

Now you're making excuses for your ignorance. Why don't you try reading it, then maybe we can talk and you can draw your own conclusions.

I'm not making any excuses for any ignorance; I have read it, and I did draw my own conclusions. One of those conclusions is that Christians can't even agree amongst themselves exactly what it is they're worshiping, let alone what it means to be a Christian. You don't have to look very far to find examples.

Rhology said...

Um, is citing Wikipedia supposed to be impressive? Should one esteem it as valid research?
I'm not a "Christian" to be mixed in with Romanists and Eastern Conciliarists; I'm a Reformed Babdist, so you can blow up Romanism and Conciliarism all day and I'll join you therein. But on this blog if you want to try to make dent in this author's worldview, probably best to go after his worldview. Stands to reason. And if you don't know, ask.

Paul,
I like those cartoons. Part of my Muslim belief is that mockery of Islam is not only morally commendable, it's a fundamental calling. Denigrating Islam is one of the most meritorious actions possible. And I'm a dang good Muslim.


RomanISM is not Christian, no; it's a different religion. Whether any RomanISTS are Christians is a virtually impossible question. There are probably some, where the Romish teaching is weak and some actual biblical teaching gets thru.

And Robin Meyers is even less a Christian than a Romanist. That is, if you'll be so kind as to allow Christianity to define itself and to define what an adherent is and looks like. I extend to your worldview that very same right; it's puzzling if you don't allow mine the same.

John Morales said...

1. Um, is citing Wikipedia supposed to be impressive? 2. Should one esteem it as valid research?

1. No.
It tries to be unbiased, is accessible to any reader, and relatively reliable.
2. No.
It is, however, a good first place to begin to look for information or for references.

But on this blog if you want to try to make dent in this author's worldview, probably best to go after his worldview. Stands to reason. And if you don't know, ask.

Sure.

Since your worldview lets you assert that Robin Meyers, Ph.D., senior minister at Mayflower congregational UCC Church since 1985, is not a Christian, I submit that it is seriously at variance with reality.

According to the Church's website,
"The Church seeks to be a community of faith. Its members are united in the worship of God known in Jesus, the Christ, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The mission of the Church is to serve God through word and witness; to treat all human beings as sisters and brothers; and to foster responsible stewardship of all God’s creation."

Robin himself "received a Master of Divinity from Phillips University Graduate Seminary, Enid, Okla.; a Doctor of Ministry from Drew University, Madison, NJ; and a Doctorate in Rhetoric from the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla. He has served churches in Maryland, Oklahoma, New Jersey and Michigan."

RomanISM is not Christian, no; it's a different religion.

A different religion?
"Mayflower is a member congregation of the United Church of Christ, a mainline Protestant denomination that came into being in 1957 with the union of the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church. We trace our roots to the Pilgrims and Puritans, who were among the first Europeans to come to North America in search of religious freedom. Beginning with the Pilgrims in 1620, these refugees of the European Reformation became known in this country as Congregationalists and Presbyterians. [...]"

I've often referred to the schismatic history of Christianity and its unbelievably fragmented nature now.

I say your worldview has vitiated your perception, Rhology, when it shows you that the minister of United Church of Christ is not a Christian. That can't be good for you.

* All quotes are from the Church website www.mayflowerucc.org

John Morales said...

Correction

Rhology - re: RomanISM is not Christian, no; it's a different religion.

I only just realised you were addressing me and not Paul there, and that by Romanism you mean Roman Catholics. The cartoon link was mine whereas Paul pointed to your diatribe against Robin, and I misunderstood your response as addressed to his link until the term "RomanISM" hit home. It's a neology to me.

Still, other than for that misapprehension (hint, Rhology: hereby corrected, before you bring out your pots and kettles) I stand by what I wrote (noting you also said Robin is not a Christian).

---

But really, if Rhology doesn't consider Roman Catholics or Protestants as Christians, that indicates an denial mechanism is at work.

It seems like plain and clear denial, whatever Rhology's rationalisations are.

Rhology, since once you take away Catholics and Protestants from the ranks of Christianity they become pretty thin, this invites the question: Roughly how many Christians are there worldwide?

Oh, and would this number happen to be the same as the number of Reformed Babdists? :)

John Morales said...

Well, I looked it up.

Rhology will surely correct me if I'm wrong, but apparently this is his denomination.

Paul C said...

What's touching is that Rhology's attempt to respond to my statement that "Christians can't even agree amongst themselves exactly what it is they're worshiping, let alone what it means to be a Christian" is that his answer actually provides clear evidence that my conclusion is entirely accurate.

What's worrying is that he doesn't appear to realise it. Really, guys, if you can't decide internally who is Christian or not, how on earth do you expect anybody else to? I'll stick with my original approach of simply accepting that if somebody says they're Christian, they're Christian.

Rhology said...

I respond here.