Monday, October 27, 2008

The homosexual automaton

This Anonymous poster has an apparently very low view of:
-The civil rights movement for equality for minority ethnicities, of the 1960s and ongoing
-The ability of homosexuals to make real lifestyle choices.

He has shown little comprehension so far that the idea of "lifestyle choices" is a gate that swings both ways. Let's take a look at his latest offering.

I also note that a large part of your argument depends on your belief that homosexuality is merely a lifestyle choice

Wow, speaking of avoidance!
It's no "belief" - one either does homosexual acts or one does not perform them. One can choose to do them or not to do them.
As opposed to one's ethnicity - one does not choose it. One IS one's ethnicity. Thus you do a great disservice to the memory of the civil rights mvmt of the 60s and ongoing.

On this we clearly disagree

So one cannot choose to engage in homosexual acts or not?
Now you're a determinist, and you apparently believe homosexuals are less human than other people - they are, apparently according to you, automata and utter slaves to their sexual drive and orientation. When they see a nice piece of, well, beefcake, they're GOING TO TAKE IT.
Unlike apparently you do, I believe that homosexuals are real people with more to them than just the way their genitalia drive them.
It's sad the way you start off with the desire to help, but end up talking down the very people you're trying to raise up. Unrealistic worldviews can bite in more ways than one.

we're *not* changing the institution of marriage, we're changing the coverage of the institution.

Then I simply insist that we extend the coverage of the institution to include grapefruits, trees, 3-yr-olds, and multiple people of different genders at the same time.
Two can change the language, you know. The point is transparent; I'm in awe of your willful blindness at this point.
You either want to be open to change, or you don't. Either concede the point or go ahead and grant me my desired extensions (and thereby lose all credibility for your position). The choice is yours.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Super duper rights

I had two really good thoughts yesterday related to the issue of homosexual marraige, but I forgot one of them, so here are some appetizers until I can find it. It's probably rolling around under my carseat...

Anonymous has been taking me to task in the super rights thread for not agreeing that it's OK to grant extraordinary rights to people whose only difference from 'normal society' is that they like to behave differently. I mean, take that everywhere you want it to go! The mileage that idea will give you is staggering.

Here are a few highlights.

I said:
To equate the struggle for civil rights for persons of a different ethnicity to the struggle for civil rights for people who choose to behave a certain way is to degrade the former to an unbelievable extent. You probably didn't even realise you were doing it, but you have, and that's a serious shame.

I said:
(Y)ou already have the exact same rights related to marriage as I do. Why should the law change just to accommodate your harmful and disgusting behavior?

I asked: why not change it to include animals, children, plants, vehicles...?
Anon responded: Because of the lack of consent involved.
I asked: Why does consent matter?
Anon responded: Because that's a defining characteristic of human relationships, particularly in legal terms
I responded: You mean, it has been up to now. I'm simply proposing that we change that.
It's the exact same as what you're proposing, just introducing the variable in a different spot.
YOU: Yes, heterosexuality has been a defining characteristic in most human-marriage relationships up to now, but let's change that.
ME: Yes, consent has been a defining characteristic in most human relationships (excepting the numerous occasions throughout human history of rape, incest, murder, slavery, etc) up to now, but let's change that.
To say "But those were BAD relationships!" is to beg the question.

Most recently, Anon said:
1st, why did you get married, Rhology? I'm assuming it's because you were in love with your partner and wanted to make a lifetime public commitment, If you had other reasons, I'd love to hear them; if not, then we want to get married for exactly the same reasons.

2nd, my point is that I would like the law to change to view my marriage - my lifetime commitment, made in public - the same as your marriage. Marrying people of a different race used to be against the law, so the argument "you don't get to" is wholly specious.

3rd, until the law changes, then I absolutely don't have the same rights as you do - for example, my partner isn't covered by my insurance plan. What is harmful and disgusting about wanting to make a lifetime commitment in public, exactly?

I respond:

1) No, you're partially right. The other, and overriding, reason was that I want to picture the love between Christ and the church in my life and my marriage to my wife. See Ephesians 5. Christ marrying Christ or the church marrying the church, well, doesn't work.
2) I already asked you to provide evidence that marrying to another ethnicity was against the law. Prove it before you make this assertion again.
3) Yes you do.
My rights: To marry someone of the opposite sex.
Your rights: To marry someone of the opposite sex.

I embrace those rights while you reject them. That's hardly my fault, or the law's. Sounds like it's your fault.
Insurance plan - feel free to lobby them to change that. But you're not married. Can I ask them to cover my good friend under my insurance plan? If not, why not?

What is harmful and disgusting is your BEHAVIOR. We've covered that.

I thought of a couple more, BTW.

4) If we change the law for you, we have no plausible denial when someone asks to marry:
-a grapefruit
-a dead person
-a 3-yr old
-a parakeet
-a tree

You'll say "Uh HUH! Consent!"
I've already rebutted that, and I've seen nothing since.

5) If we change the law for you, we have no plausible denial when someone asks to marry 4 people at once. All consenting adults. Maybe we should change the law for that, too, huh? What would be your argument for why, since we changed it to give YOU a super-right, why we shouldn't change it for anyone else? Couldn't that just be discriminatory of some other group? We certainly wouldn't want that!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Anonymous Gospels

In just another example of unlearning stuff I've assumed but never thought deeply about, I was challenged today in my default-mode thinking on something. I've heard it repeated over and over again that the New Testament Gospels are anonymous, and that their authorship is ascribed traditionally, even fairly arbitrarily.

i) The Gospels are not anonymous. All our MSS name the authors of the Gospels. And there is no evidence that this is an editorial addition. Indeed, given the antiquity and uniformity of these ascriptions, the evidence is against their unoriginality.
You notice that Carrier has no hesitation in citing other Jewish and pagan writers by name—even though the quantity and quality of MSS evidence for those works is negligible compared with the NT.
Assuming that the traditional attributions are true—and the superscriptions are exceedingly well-attested—then Matthew and Luke would certainly have other sources of information at their fingertips.

ii) Mark is not an unknown individual. He is known to us from both the Lucan and Pauline corpus.

iii) "Tradition” and “legend” are hardly synonymous.

iv) Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the Gospel of Mark was written around AD 70, “give or take a decade,” the lower figure would put it within the lifetime of Paul—even by Carrier’s reckoning. For Paul’s death is generally dated to around AD 65.312 So either Carrier can’t do the math or he doesn’t know the rudiments of NT chronology.

v) As a matter of fact, David Wenham has marshaled internal, comparative evidence to show that Paul, writing way back in the 40s, was already acquainted with the Gospels of Matthew and Luke—and maybe even the Fourth Gospel for good measure (Paul & Jesus [Eerdmans 2002]; Paul: Follower of Jesus or Founder of Christianity? [Eerdmans 1985].).

Assuming Marcan priority, this completely upends Mr. Carrier’s entire thesis. Even without Marcan priority, the damage is done.
Of course, this runs counter to what “most” scholars believe, but the decades-long gap between oral tradition and the canonical gospels posited by “most” scholars has always been completely irrational. This was not a preliterate culture. If men could pen letters, they could just as well pen gospels.

vi) Carrier is trying to play both sides of the fence. On the one hand he says:
"Matthew and Luke clearly used Mark as their source, repeating the same elements in the same order and often using identical vocabulary and word order, not only for this story but for the whole Gospel."

If so, then this is an example of how extremely conservative Matthew and Luke are in handling their sources. How pedantically faithful they are in respecting and preserving the Markan source.

On the other hand, he also says:
"All other accounts rely upon it and basically just embellish it or modify it to suit each author’s own narrative and ideological agenda."

If so, then that is an example of how extremely cavalier Matthew and Luke are in
handling their sources. How faithless they are in reproducing the Marcan source.
You see how these two assertions are tugging in opposite directions? Carrier is in a bind. He needs one sort of argument to prove Markan priority, and a contrary argument to prove legendary embellishment. So his thesis is drawn-and-quartered by the conflicting demands of his own agenda.

Source: This Joyful Eastertide, Steve Hays, p 146

Friday, October 17, 2008

The serenity and calm of the pro-choice 'thinker'

Does it get much better than this? I guess it could have more profanity in it...

Okay, Rhology, let's just establish that you're an idiot. Perhaps you think no one calls you on your rampant, constant spouting of BS because you're right, but in fact you fall so far along the bleeding edge of the lunatic fringe that honestly no one cares what you think. We're both posting on an internet website, but I honestly am concerned about your daily interactions with people because based on your posts here you are living in a fantasy land. A fertilized egg is a baby? Rhology, your views on women are horribly condescending, and if you are in fact in a doctor - something that seems doubtful - I can only imagine all the other patronizing ways you treat your patients. To assume that a woman doesn't treat the decision to have an abortion as anything other than horribly, terribly serious is delusional. A baby isn't an abstraction to a woman contemplating an abortion, and the only reason you think it is is because you are entirely, utterly incapable of placing yourself in anyone's shoes except your own massive blowhard nonsense of "discourse". No doubt you're going to take this to task for not offering a serious rebuttal, or logical fallacies, or whatever. Rhology, part of life is realizing that when people are stupid, asinine hacks, then maybe they don't deserve a real response.

OK, duly noted - I'm an idiot. What does that say about those of you on the other side when you can't even respond to an idiot's arguments?

-A fertilized egg is a baby?

Yes. Give me a good argument as to why not. Riddle me this:
1) When does a fertilised egg become a baby?
2) How do you know?
3) If you do not know with 100% certainty, why do you feel that it's OK to go ahead and kill it anyway, even if we're not sure what it is? Do you always shoot first and ask questions later?
4) Whenever it is, please describe the difference between that baby and the lifeform 10 minutes before the point when it became a baby. And how you know that. This should be rich.

Oh yeah, and I found two very interesting links with respect to what medical professionals and researchers think about that very question.

-your views on women are horribly condescending

In what way? B/c I want them to be fully informed? You have some weird standards of condescension!

-if you are in fact in a doctor

I'm not. That was a rhetorical device known as a "hypothetical".

-To assume that a woman doesn't treat the decision to have an abortion as anything other than horribly, terribly serious is delusional.

Given that the vast majority of abortions are NOT related to extreme health danger, rape, or incest, I can only conclude that you don't know what you're talking about.
And, listen to yourself. You believe this is not really a baby we're talking about. It's more like an appendage, an organ. An inconvenient organ at that, much like an appendix.
"To assume that a woman doesn't treat the decision to have an appendicitis as anything other than horribly, terribly serious is delusional."
How ridiculous is that?
You don't get to have it both ways. It's either a baby or it's not. And if it's not, abort away! So what?

-A baby isn't an abstraction to a woman contemplating an abortion

Then no doubt you are in favor of the bill that is criticised in this editorial. Ultrasounds merely demonstrate with greater clarity how much a baby is NOT an abstraction to be ruthlessly killed.

You accuse me of speaking "blowhard nonsense", but it's pretty clear you're engaging in a bit of self-projection. Another word to look up - "substantive". Bring *substantive* arguments to the table. Until then, peace and calm to you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Different authorities

This is one of the reasons I like structuring many posts in the back-and-forth format. Dr Funkenstein has helped bring out some really helpful clarifications to the abortion question here.

babies that are incapable of feeding themselves or walking hadn't committed any capital crimes

Not such that a human being would be justified in executing them, no.
But for God to do so is a completely different matter. He has authority to do that; we don't.

then how can anyone be a murderer when they kill someone when you then go on to say its acceptable that

B/c humans only have permission to kill other humans under certain conditions. Wartime, self-defense, and punishment for a capital crime are 3 examples.

if everyone is a capital criminal then you should have no objection to anyone killing anyone else.

Your problem lies in equivocation between the executing authorities. Yes, I am a capital criminal before God, but not before any human authority. God can justifiably put me to death whenever He wants, but no human would be justified to do so.

I have to ask why God uses such obviously human means to achieve his goals

He wanted to.

why not just snap his fingers and click them out of existence, as opposed to requiring some sort of bloody slaughter?

B/c it pleases Him to involve His people in the means of carrying out His plan on earth.

defending the biblical acts of God as matters pertaining only to dis/obedience, the gruesomeness of slaughter seems to be no concern whatsoever when you agree with it. So is it merely following commands that is the important thing here?

No, it's doing what is right that is the important thing here.
You who have never defended any moral basis other than "I like it or don't like it/a group of people who are kinda like me in general like it or don't like it" are hardly in a position to criticise. Show me a wider basis for moral judgments in your worldview and we can talk.

how does/did God choose between one group of sinners and another - after all presumably the Israelite children were as guilty therefore as the Hitiite children?

Side note - the Hittites weren't part of the Canaanite conflicts. But anyway...
Some of the OT prophets declare that the Israelites actually were worse sinners than the Canaanites, even worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. But God states in Deuteronomy that He chose them simply b/c it pleased Him to do so.
I admit it sounds a little strange to me too, but that doesn't mean He didn't have any other reasons. I know some reasons why it ISN'T that He chose them (they were purer, holier, greater, more numerous, etc) and I can guess at a few why He did (by choosing an insignificant people like them to bring the Messiah into the world, He causes more glory since it was all Him and not the greatness of the people).

Or is it simply a subjective decision on his part?


It seems very relativistic rather than objective.

Well, you should probably be careful about your terminology here. Relative to what?
I grant that it's subjective to God. But since He's God, it's quite different from saying that it's subjective to Joe.

Some points on abortion

I had asked:
Let's say I have the power to decide the law here. Why can't I say that YOU have not met my cut-off point and thus you can be killed if you are inconvenient to me? (Which you are, BTW, you take up time on my blog. ;-) ) This is not a rhetorical question.

Paul C said:
As a supporter of capital punishment you in fact do say that.

Wrong. It is not that capital criminals are inconvenient, it is that they have committed a capital crime.
The fulcrum is not arbitrary - commit a capital crime, death penalty. Don't commit one, no death penalty. Not that hard.
Nothing like the "fetus=baby when I say so" argument you're employing.

I didn't mention anything about ending human life because it's "inconvenient", of course - this is yet another feeble rhetorical ploy.

That is why the vast majority of abortions are performed - b/c having a baby would mess up the mother's/parents' life/lives. You are defending it, so defend it already.
Answer the question. Why can't I say that YOU have not met my cut-off point and thus you can be killed if you are inconvenient to me? You, like a baby, have not committed a capital crime (that I know of), so what's the difference? And why is it not arbitrary, and thus based on what the most people who are in power happen to think at that point in history?
If it is arbitrary, you don't have a good reason to hold to ANY cut-off point, do you?

What I object to is your calling a fetus a baby in an attempt to bolster your argument. "

I haven't seen a decent argument for not calling the fetus a baby from the moment of conception. Perhaps you could provide one.

"Major medical textbooks" will refer to it as a fetus and not a baby, of course - but I suppose you only cite them when they agree with you.

If there are some that agree with me, that serves to bolster my case, for those who are not so seared of conscience. That might be expecting too much of you.
If you are driving down the highway at night and you see some unusual movement ahead of you, do you not slow down? Why? You don't want to damage your car; you also don't want to run over a kid. Since you think some major medical authorities are in your favor and I know others are in mine, why not err on the side of life? Or are you in favor of shooting first and asking questions later? Does that mean you are in favor of the invasion of Iraq?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A great reason to homeschool

Especially if you live in California.

Here are my favorite excerpts:

On Friday, McCoy and Carder, both in white, held hands on Newsom's office balcony overlooking the rotunda and recited their vows.

"With this ring, I thee wed!" Carder said, shouting the last word for emphasis (emph. in original).

It's just true love. Nothing political here. No ulterior statements.

"She's a really nice teacher. She's the best," said 6-year-old Chava Novogrodsky-Godt, wearing a "No on 8" button on her shirt. "I want her to have a good wedding."

Chava's mothers said they are getting married in two weeks.

Shudder. That poor little girl.

Marriage, 6-year-old Nolan Alexander said Friday, is "people falling in love."

It means, he added, "You stay with someone the rest of your life."

One hopes he will learn to refine this statement as he grows up, but sadly, this view is all too common even among adults.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's not controversial for me," Jaroflow said. "It's certainly an issue I would be willing to put my job on the line for."

It's a shame he probably won't have to prove it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Brazen uncaring heartlessness

I was hoping that I wouldn't see comments like these in the post containing the video showing the carnage of abortion. Perversely, they serve to make the point far more clearly than more reasonable and more humane comments would.

Chris from Oz said:
That's pretty gross.

Yep, that's abortion.

We could show the kids being torn apart by she-bears

1) This is the tu quoque fallacy. You don't bring up another wrong to relieve the horror or evil nature of a wrong.
2) Those weren't "kids"; it was a gang of teenaged youth, threatening a prophet of God by telling him to go on up like Elijah had. That is, to die.
3) There's not necessarily a connection between the curse of Elisha and the bears eating them in the text.
4) Why wouldn't you be totally cool with bears eating humans? Isn't that nat sel in action? Those kids were obviously from the shallow end of the gene pool - so what if they get eaten? Less competition from idiots for the rest of us.
5) We've seen over and over again your worldview's total inability to make any moral judgment that should be binding on anyone else. So what?

the genocide of whole tribes

See #4 and 5 from above.
And it shows your moral blindness to say this. Those tribes were engaged in gross immorality and horribly sinful living, yet you equate them with the murder of babies. What wrong have the babies committed? And it's the same to you? (One wonders whether you have or even like children.)

the stories of the families watching each other drown during the flood.

To exactly what stories of families "watching each other drown" do you refer? Quote them.
(Hint: No account like that exists in Genesis.)

The Jolly Nihilist said...
The images are gross, but, to my eye, no grosser really than this. Seeing bloody dead stuff is discomforting; no shocker there.

Yet another atheist equates humans with animals.
Of course, in the next breath he'll be cross with God about command the extermination of a tribe of people by another - natural selection in action. The inconsistency is amazing.

protesters should not be allowed to block people's entry into abortion clinics.

Should people be penalised by law, then, for wresting the gun from a guy who has aimed it at someone else's head? That would be the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Since I have experience dissecting bodies... All I can say is "Ooh, yummy!"

I'm glad you have something to say, b/c I have nothing to say to that.

I will make the decision whether it is wrong after I see the other evil.

One can only wonder what in the world you're talking about.

Some personal thoughts on missions

An old friend asked me some questions about mission work and such via email, and I figure excerpts of it might be of some interest, so here they are.

My motivation started back when God first saved me around age 15 1/2, actually. I have since that time been very interested in missions and overseas work. Almost went to Albania one summer with Teen Mania, but I think I was too chicken, so I didn't do it. So that conviction and that direction of my heart and desires has stayed oriented that way, and I also love foreign languages and being a foreigner, so that's something else God has used to hold my interest in overseas work.

Biggest challenge for us was definitely letting go of our relationships in the US and also entrusting God with all the unknowns about moving to a diff country and hoping and praying to find believing fellowship there. As it turns out, we DIDN'T find much of any believers where we were in Japan, but God sustained us anyway. God used that time to change me an awful lot.
The 1st time, in France, He taught me about His sovereignty over the world mostly. I had spent a summer in nervous spiritual preparation b/c I knew that France was known as the missionaries' graveyard and that it was a dark place. So I thought that one magically loses one's faith when one goes to a place like that. Of course, that's not the case at all - one falls into a missionary graveyard b/c one does not concentrate on personal holiness, obedience, reliance on God, and has unreasonable expectations (such as thinking that thousands will fall down in repentance within a month of your starting to preach and that you'll head a megachurch). And God taught me about His overseeing of ALL nations and their ideas - the French have half-formally enthroned Reason as their god, and God showed me the wrongness of that.

In Japan He taught me about His provision, His sovereignty over MY life, and being bold to introduce the Gospel to people early on in conversations. Provision - we were the only Americans, w/ a low level of Japanese, on an isolated island in the middle of the ocean. Aubrey miscarried our first child while there, and God orchestrated an amazing sequence of events to get us off the island and to the hospital on the other side of the next island over from where the airport was, and an expert interpreter to help us, and on and on. Sovereignty over my life - my plan was to stay in Japan for multiple years and learn Japanese really well and from there move on to either full time missions in Japan or onto some other country or whatever. God brought us back to the US after only one year, and that has been perhaps the hardest action on God's part that I've ever wrestled with. The proverbial late nights of prayer, running out excess stressed energy, pacing back and forth, wringing hands, yelling at God, prayer at the beach in the middle of the night AND yelling at God at the same time, struggle, resignation... I went thru it all! Then much more when we did get back. Crazy. But God is using us here. I knew He would, but it's hard to figure that He'd prefer us to be here rather than overseas, especially given the way that he's made our hearts to love internationals.

At the end of my time in France, I visited a friend who was volunteering at the Wycliffe institute NW of London and was vastly impressed by their installation and what I saw. I have since thought it would be grand to work for them, and of course their vision is highly praiseworthy - get the Bible into the hands of (usually illiterate) people groups who don't have the Bible in their own language.
So I'd say to try to spend some time watching the way the agency does their bizness and whose vision fits with yours. I'd urge you to keep the main priorities the main priorities. That is, all the clean-water wells, microloans, medical supplies, and food shipments are meaningless where the Gospel is absent. Will the Lord find blameless he who gives temporary, perishable provision and intentionally withholds, whether out of fear or embarrassment or whatever, his most precious possession - the saving message of the Gospel of Christ?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Watch this if you are pro-choice

Then leave a comment. If you have the stomach to do either and still live with yourself.

Warning - explicit content. I could only watch about 4 seconds of the footage of the corpses before I had to stop. I can't take that stuff like I used to.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Strong atheist public figures

The Jolly Nihilist asked me a question that I don't have a great answer for. Not the first time, probably not the last.

Who do you see as being a good, robust ambassador of atheism? Who makes the most convincing case (as convincing as a case can be when you personally are sitting on the other side, that is)?

I'm not quite dismissive of atheist intellectuals in my recollection, but I don't count Dawkins, Harris, or Hitchens as intellectuals at all. "Intellectual" should mean sthg meaningful.

I'd call Dawkins an intellectual when it comes to biology. I'm not sure about Harris. Hitchens - I'd call him a public intellectual on politics, I guess. But these 3 men's arguments against theism are so pitiful that I just can't use that term, lest it be emptied of its meaning.

I put your arguments and reasoning abilities (and those of Dr Funkenstein, for example) way above those guys' any day, on this topic. Part of the problem is that these 3 men have stepped outside of their expertise to pontificate on matters about which they are manifestly unprepared to deal.

So... let's see... Dennett I'd put a cut above those 3. I've heard good things about Drange, and a few good things about Martin, though less.

I'm probably the wrong person to ask, though, if you're interested in someone who is well-read. I'm not particularly well-read - no time!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

No rights

Speaking of rights, let's talk aborted babies.
It's funny - it seems the aforementioned local student rag is on a "let's-provoke-Rhology" theme these days. Makes for entertaining mornings.

So here's my response, to be (hopefully) posted (they posted my comments on homosexual marriage, so that's promising):

Speaking of ignorance...

-I would imagine most of the people who use a religious basis for believing in the immorality of abortion got the idea from a pastor or priest who lectured on the evils of abortion one Sunday.

It just COULDN'T BE that the Bible actually makes a case against abortion by informing us when life starts - at conception - and then informing us that murder is an evil act. Holder apparently doesn't take that possibility into account, but why should his negligence speak for anyone else?

-“Thou shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13).

It's "thou shall not murder", BTW. But he goes on to use the word "murder". Fair enough.

-there are no references to abortion at all.

If he means the word "abortion", he's right.
Yet there are numerous references to the personhood of the unborn child, even at a very young age, and references to God's having knit the child together and being His property and His creation. Ps. 139:13-16, Jer. 1:5, and Luke 1:41 for example.)

-“If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, ...he shall pay as the judges determine” (Exodus 21:22).

From - When the offending man was striking the woman, was he trying to kill the baby? Of course not -- for most of the 9 months of pregnancy he would have no sure sign that a baby was there, and even after that in the heat of a fight is hardly going to have the rational capability to take on such a distinction. And even if he did, chances are he wasn't aiming for the baby anyway. It's like shooting into the woods and accidentally hitting a hunter instead of a deer; no one calls that murder, it's an accident. But barring the interpretation linked just above, an accident never earns the death penalty in the Bible. On the other hand, the woman was quite visible and there was no such excuse. Any struggle that affects the woman to the point of inflicting serious injury could hardly be "accidental."

-When is a fetus considered a person then? The book of Genesis provides the answer: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).

Holden would have us believe that the Bible teaches we should grant that a person has achieved personhood when they are an adult? How can anyone take this seriously?

-it seems that the first breath a person takes allows the soul into the body.

Perhaps Holden can point out to us someone he knows that was formed in this way. In the face of numerous references to God's being the author of life and death, the solid argument that personhood is to be assessed on the basis of BEING, not of ABILITY, and the other Bible psgs I listed above, why try to form an argument on a singular, unique event - that of the creation of the first man?

-Stand out in the open and acknowledge that your opinion is just that, your opinion.

Which is backed up by good arguments (as well as very solid scientific documentation that permits little option than to view the just-conceived baby as just that - a baby.), as opposed to the pro-baby-murder arguments, which are based on preference, convenience, politics, and escapist desires to escape the normal consequences of irresponsible behavior. I doubt Holden will take into account the fact that many future AND present women (both the mothers and the future mothers that have been murdered by abortion) are harmed by this barbaric practice. We can always hope, though.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Super rights

An opinion editor on a local student newspaper posted a rant on the evils of 'discrimination' against homosexuals in not legalising homosexual marriage.

It's not dissimilar from a small conversation I had recently at another local-based blog recently.

So (surprise, surprise) I decided to weigh in. Here's what I said:

You have missed the obvious and glaring fact that homosexual behavior is just that - BEHAVIOR.
One is born black, white, Asian, whatever. One might even born with homosexual tendencies and desires, just as one might be born with the tendency to prefer to sit on one's bum all day and eat pizza while watching soap operas, or born with a tendency towards a very violent temper, or towards alcoholism, or towards impatience with small children. Just b/c one is born with a tendency does not mean that one is therefore justified in carrying that tendency out in behavior.

Being white is not a behavior - it is a state of being.
Performing a homosexual act is a behavior. And it is a destructive one.

You said:
-The sexual orientation of a person should have no effect on that person’s right to marry.

Well and good, and I agree with you and Sally Kern agrees with you. Homosexual people have the exact same rights and privileges related to marriage that I have - the right and privilege to marry someone of the opposite sex. To change that is to demand a super-right, one not granted to me. I do not see why, based on a simple behavioral preference, the law should be changed in this way, especially one related to something so fundamental to society as the family unit.

Perhaps I should pursue a change in law that would rewards me for carrying out my from-birth predilection to be a drunk. And maybe I like to drive. So maybe I can get the drunk-driving law annulled by my efforts towards "equality".

You might say:
-But drunk driving 1) is dangerous and 2) hurts people and 3) it's foolish to change the law just based on your desire to carry out your own weird tendencies!

A few responses:
1) Indeed, but who are you to judge my chosen lifestyle! Seriously, who are you?
2) Homosexual behavior is dangerous as well. And it hurts people - the average life expectancy of a homosexual is vastly shorter than a heterosexual. It's just the way it is, and it's b/c homosexual sex is harmful. It involves activity using a part of the body that is designed for something completely different, and that part of the body just happens to be the canal for eliminating poisonous waste, which is easily introduced into the body if it is damaged by, say, sexual contact.
3) Quite so. So why write this article?

You said:
-it’s pretty clear that the DOMA is unconstitutional.

But what if the DOMA applies to every state? Wouldn't that make the state's recognition of homosexual marriage against the law and destroy this argument?

You said:
-Rep. Sally Kern said...homosexuality “is deadly, and it’s spreading, and it will destroy our young people (and) this nation.”

I challenge you to read the entire transcript of her speech. It is much more enlightening than the lame YouTube "You do not speak for me" video, and she explains why she said that. You may not agree, but at least don't misrepresent her. That is a sign of intellectual cowardice, and this argument needs all the help it can get.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The So/un of God, part 2

Continuing on past the intro...

The major theme of the 1st part of the movie is that, since there exist all these similarities between Christianity and these other pagan religions, obviously Christianity is wrong.
-I would expect to see similarities exist in other religions, actually, b/c God is the true God and people are corrupt and want to twist the truth. God has put this info into history and people's hearts. God has put His existence and some of His characteristics, as well as a longing for the spiritual and eternal in people's hearts. That other religions stick close to the truth though add their own ingredients into the mix is a staple of demonic religion throughout time, all the way down to its modern counterparts in the LDS church and Jehovah's Witnesses, to name only 2.

Minute 17:35 Horus was crucified. Horus was executed in a way that the Roman Empire (which wouldn't come into existence for hundreds of years) would invent? Wow! Whoda thunk it?

Minute 18-19 all of these 'near-misses' - in my experience these similarities are very overstated.
Plus, these claims of "resurrections" are really far off the truth.
Here's just one example.

19:00 - "why these attributes" of these Saviors? Again, maybe b/c they were spinoffs of the truth? What is the argument for taking one view over the other? We are not given one.

19:15 - they call Jesus another one of these "sun" gods. Evidence? All we get are a few references to Jesus as the light of the world, etc. That's supposed to be impressive? Why not call Jesus one of the "food gods"? He talked about being bread, the Eucharist, all that stuff.

In between somewhere, the Magi go west to find the birthplace of 'the Sun'. Um, OK. Evidence? There isn't any in the biblical text. Maybe the Zeitguys found the until-now lost writings of the Magi who visited Jesus. But they didn't publish them. Or maybe they're just making stuff up.

21:10 - Wow - Virgo and Bethlehem are coincidental. THEREFORE, Bethlehem is Virgo. Please.

22:00 - These guys really believe that Christ was actually born on Dec 25? The best hypothesis I've heard is in the middle of September.

22:25 - At most this would mean early coincidences or even collusion with pagan symbolism by 4th century Christians when they set the Xmas date to 25 Dec, but Jesus probably wasn't born then. Besides, why should I assume that God wouldn't put out clues in the natural world that show forth His glory and coolness?
Like Louie Giglio's Laminin. This makes no case for either position, but it's a cool thing if you're a Christian. We give glory to God b/c it shows His creativity and reminds us of the Savior's grand sacrifice.

22:50 - Spring equinox, easter. The actual Resurrection, however, is not according to equinox. Christ's Passion and Death were according to OT Passover, and His resurrection according to the Feast of the Firstfruits. The Zeitguys are guilty of imposing their thesis upon the existing historical record and statements of Jesus and the NT.

23:10 - Naked assertion that the apostles are the 12 signs of the zodiac. This is one of the things that made me laugh out loud.
Then he goes on to score points against his own position - "the number 12 is found throughout the Bible". Exactly - God digs the #12. Why should I grant that it's the zodiac rather than the longstanding OT tradition that these 12 are continually appearing?

23:50 - Pagan adaptation of the cross of the zodiac.
Might be, but so what? Does this guy think Jesus didn't exist and didn't actually die on a CROSS? Against all scholarship, even the freaky-liberal Jesus Seminar?

24 and throughout - He keeps punning "Son" and "Sun" of God. As if the same homophone exists in any other language.

24:40 - crown of thorns, or sun rays. He never argues for this, just throws it in there as if it should mean sthg to anyone. More disingenuousness. It's impossible to take this kind of garbage seriously.

26:55 - Moses is mad at the bull worship b/c it's the age of Taurus. OK, I'm with you so far, fine.
Moses represents the Age of the Ram. This is why Jews blow the ram's horn, the shofar. Um, riiiiiigggghhhhht. Note that there's JUST NO WAY this could be an actual historical narrative. It's clearly allegory, and the Zeitguys have the correct interpretation! Somehow...

27:20 - Age of Pisces. "Fish symbolism is important in the NT". I knew it was coming.

27:57 - Start of the age of Pisces - 1 AD
Zeitgeist (correctly) places Jesus' birth at 4 BC.
Wouldn't it be a little more above-board to say, "Well, they actually are off by 5 years, but it's dang close, right people?" The disingenousness continues.

28:10 - Discourse on Lk 22:10
Note again the operating assumption that this is not a historical narrative. Where is the contextual evidence that this is allegorical? He never argues for this, just makes naked assertions.

29:05 - "the cartoonish depictions in Revelation aside..."
-Apparently he's unaware of and has no respect for the general genre of apocalyptic literature, and we should of course all share his lame, unnecessarily nasty and dismissive, willfully ignorant attitude about such things.
-It's as if he has no idea that metaphor and imagery are supposed in many cases to be hyperbolic and outlandish, in order to make points and speak in 'code' that is easily broken by insiders - the churches who would read the book
-And he never makes a case for WHY we should set aside Revelation.

29:06 - Says the main source of end times talk is Matt 28:20
Um no - Daniel, Ezekiel, Malachi, Matt 24-25 Olivet Discourse, 1 Thess, 2 Peter, all have more (sometimes much more) substantial end times talk than this.
And of course, why even bother exegeting Revelation? That's for loonies! Let's stick with an easy target, one sentence that we can more easily twist w/o any contextual clues to give away the fact that we're engaging in sophistry.

29:48 - "Tell that to the 100 million people in USA who believe the end of the world is coming."
Oh, that's unique to Christians? Nobody among Acharya S's friends thinks we're going to destroy the planet and thus end the "world"?

31:00 - "Story of the Great Flood is ubiquitous throughout the world"
-Yes, b/c it happened.
-And again, why wouldn't it bolster my position that it's being copied in other versions? My position is that my religion is based in real historical events.

Anyway, it should be clear that this movie is an empty shell. I have no specialised academic training, and the holes are already glaring.
Here are the other links I mentioned:
-Ben Witherington
-JP Holding
-JP Holding on the copycat theory
-Some guy with a great deal of relevant articles