Monday, May 09, 2011

Conversation with madmanfred -2

My response to madmanfred continues from the Abolitionist Society blog, after my original reply to him.

First of all, though, let me note that the numerous central challenges I made to his moral authority in the last post, namely:

-- May I ask what it is, and how you know that your moral position is better than someone else's, such that you feel freedom to tell us what to believe? That you get to correct others on issues of morality? Where's your badge?
--On what basis, then, do you disapprove? What is your moral standard by which you think you can judge others?
--You're setting yourself up as an authority, judging those who commit murder.
I lack faith in your moral authority. Please give evidence that you indeed have it, and that it is correct.

madmanfred did not answer.  You'll see below that I ask the same questions again a few times, and that's because mmf is trying to deal in oughts and shoulds, but he professes to be an atheist, and atheists need to present some reason to think that moral authority actually exists before any reasonable person should consider their moral positions and statements to have any worth or meaning.  So hopefully mmf will give us something solid to chew on in his next reply.

how is it that the sperm and egg don't have one, but after "fusion" the zygote has one?

B/c God creates humans, and when He creates them, He creates them physically and spiritually simultaneously.
It's a divine act of creation.  It wasn't there all along.

"The idea of ensoulment is nowhere to be found in the Bible. The concept of ensoulment is linked with other ideas such as 'quickening' which also are not found in the Bible."

Zygotes are not in the Bible either.

There are contra-biblical ideas and there are extra-biblical ideas. Zygote is the latter; ensoulment is the former.

"Possess(ing) the Image of God" does not appear in the Bible, anywhere.

It's in Genesis 1 and 9.

In Genesis, God creates man in his image, but I've always taken that to mean human beings look like God.

OK, but your poor interpretation of the Bible is hardly the standard of truth.

That doesn't explain how God can look like a zygote

Which is a great reason to reject your simplistic "humans look like God" 'interpretation' of the text.

"your demonstrated knowledge of Christian doctrine was lacking. To fail to let you know about it would do you and others a disservice."

Umm, no, unless 14 years of Christian eduction went down the drain.

It wouldn't be the 1st time.
Education and credentials don't impress me. Showing some substantive familiarity with the Bible does.
And the whole "I've always taken that to mean human beings look like God" inspires even less confidence in your knowledge. It's clear this is a sore spot for you, but clearly your inflated false confidence needs to be busted down quite a bit to arrive at reality.

And your position isn't worthwhile for critique. I honestly can't take you and your delusion of special knowledge seriously. You're a fantasy fan.

Anyone can read the arguments for themselves. You're like a child standing on your daddy's lap to yell at him and slap his face and tell him he has no power over you.
I'd like you to prove that the following things to which you yourself hold aren't delusions:
-evidence exists
-your cognitive faculties reliably produce true beliefs
-other minds exist
-the external world exists

Go for it.  Otherwise I'll just throw the same stuff at you and trumpet my victory like a 7 year old.

The only thing complex about Christianity its history.

And systematic theology. Again, you show no familiarity with it.

The slaves in the South couldn't have been as badly treated as you say, because the Spanish instituted slavery in South/Central America in the 16th century, and the Spanish were very Christian.

This is not even an argument.  I have no idea what you're trying to say.
And the Spanish weren't Christian - they were medieval Roman Catholics.

God is so opposed to slavery that you have to find passages between the ones that approve of it that mumble his opposition where you don't downright twist the meaning.

Where did I claim that God is "opposed to slavery"?  The truth is far more nuanced than you've allowed with this statement.  Prove you know something about the Bible by correctly characterising the Bible's position on slavery. Thanks.

"'Nor do we have any idea what percentage of slaves were treated that well for how much time. The doctor and teachers you site might have lived hundreds of years apart.'"

"Or they might not have." 

Oh, you've checked already? You know for a fact this evidence doesn't exist? I bet it does.

Your faith is remarkable, but naked assertions are countered by naked assertions.  You bet it does, eh?

evidence exists from that very time in the surrounding Christian world that the slavery in the antebellum South was hardly the worst in the world.

Tu quoques get you nowhere.

Ah,so the price of freedom for a slave is his eye or a tooth, according to Exodus. In other words, you only have reason to free slaves if the master mutilates them

This is a tendentious mischaracterisation of the situation brought on by your neglect of the context.

Exo. 21:21 affirms that the master has the right to beat the slave to an inch of his life, as long as the slave remains alive for two days. and affirms that the master owns the slave "by right of purchase."

Exodus 21:20“If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. 21“If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property.

I'd like to ask mmf:
1) You do realise that if a man does that and costs himself the slave's labor for the time of his recovery, he's hurting himself too, right?  And the slave can go free at Sabbath year.
2) And yet the slave was indeed sold into slavery to the master.  This law balances the master's responsibility to his slave and the slave's to his master.
3) What moral problem do you have with this?  How do you know your moral position is true?  I don't accept your position as Pope of Morality without some ID.

there are three Gods you worship, but you have to pretend you worship one because that one is the jealous God."
That was my description of the Trinity, Reducio ad Absurdum.

Reductia ad absurdum are supposed to arrive at the LOGICAL consequence of the position critiqued.  You've set up a strawman and thus failed badly.

The Trinity: It wasn't adopted as dogma until 325 ad.

Yes, but it's taught clearly in the Bible, which is really all that matters.

This "fact" was actually discovered by an Alexandrian Bishop's secretary, Athanasius.

No, it was revealed in the BIble and believed by Christians way before.
Read up on historical heresies - doctrine doesn't get systematised usually until the main consensus is challenged, at which point it becomes necessary to get specific and define stuff in detail.

But worshiping all three while claiming that they are one substance is meaningless

Naked assertion. Give me a reason to think so.

every Christian sect has stuck with the Trinity, including such wild offshoots as the Mormons.

????? The Mormons are possibly the most polytheistic religion in the world.  Once again you reveal ignorance.

1 comment:

Chemist said...

Talking with this guy was like dealing with a tooth ache. It was frustrating and painful.

I will add that I am grateful for my exchange with him. He only further clarified my position and made it stronger IMO.