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Is It Hateful to Say that Homosexual Behavior Is Sinful?

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

phil robertson Is It Hateful to Say that Homosexual Behavior Is Sinful? This whole Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) thing has me very confused. I see person after person claiming that what Phil Robertson said about homosexual behavior being sinful was hateful. Hateful? Really?

I used to think that hate was wishing evil upon another person. I am really struggling to understand how Phil Robertson wished evil upon anyone. I have read the GQ interview; it’s not there.

All I can conclude is to just say that homosexual behavior is sinful has now become equated with hatefulness in 2013 America.

Is this correct? Is it hateful to say that homosexual behavior is sinful? Please vote and leave comments.


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Comments

  • Nolan Aubuchon

    Is it hateful to say bestiality is sinful?
    Is it hateful to say pedophilia is sinful?
    is it hateful to say incest is sinful?

    If you say no to all three, it neither should be hateful to declare homosexuality sinful.

  • Bill

    I don’t think it’s hateful to say homosexuality is sinful. It would be hateful to want to do harm or wish ill will on those that practice it, but it’s not hateful to say it’s sinful.

  • Gary Kurtz

    It is actually loving because there is no salvation without repentance. Is it hateful for a doctor to tell me I have a cancer? By the same token, Is it hateful to inform one of their diseased sinful condition? I’m forever grateful I was told, for while there is yet a cure for cancer, there IS a cure for sin. What Phil Robertson did was loving. He is pointing all of us, those who practice homosexual behavior included, to the Great Physician. The only thing that is hateful is the hatred we are commanded of–to hate evil–the evil that sends any of us to Hell who has not received the free gift of God in Jesus Christ.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Is it hateful to say interracial sex is sinful? If yes, it should be hateful to declare homosexuality is sinful.

  • Chris Carlascio

    There’s no good reason to think interracial sex is sinful, but there are good reasons for thinking that sex between people of the same sex is.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Says who? Plenty of people have cited religion to oppose interracial marriage. Who gets to decide whether they’re right or you are right about gays before it’s established what is or isn’t hate speech?

  • Chris Carlascio

    Unless those people can make a good case that their religion is true and moral, then religion isn’t a good reason for opposing interracial marriage. Concerning who gets to decide, I guess that’s going to be up to the government, but if I was consulted, I would try to make the case that there is no good reason to think that interracial sex is wrong.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Both gov and public are rejecting the apologist’s arguments against gays, just as they gradually both rejected arguments against interracial marriage.

  • Chris Carlascio

    Respectfully, that doesn’t show that the arguments are invalid. The government and the majority of the public have been wrong in the past.

  • Lisa Blomme

    The New Testament states In Gal. 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Now mind you that is only for those who r in Christ Jesus, which as a believer Phil Robertson is. The Bible also says that God is no respecter of persons…He doesn’t play favorites. Hence dispelling your comment on interracial marriage by the NT. However, even the NT in 1 Cor. 6:9 states that those who practice homosexuality will not inherit the Kingdom of God. And 1 Tim. 1:10 states how the law is for people who, among other things, practice homosexuality. The Bible, our Instruction book for life, is very clear on intercourse with a person of the same sex being an abomination. God made every creature able to procreate without the intervention of science. When 2 men or 2 women can’t naturally produce a baby It’s because whoever you believe YOUR creator to be didn’t design it that way. Seriously…whether you believe in God or not, sex was designed for procreation, sure we take pleasure in it, but if you cant make babies the way You’re Doing It Then It’s not natural.

  • sean

    It is hateful to tell someone that their actions are worthy of eternal damnation. It’s hateful to say it because of homosexual behavior, it’s hateful to say it because of a lack of a belief in god, and it’s hateful to say it because of original sin. It’s all hateful. The idea that any finite act/belief/crime is worthy of eternal punishment is hateful.

    Edit: Especially when those things are not even really bad things.

  • sean

    The New Testament states In Gal. 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile,
    slave or free, male or female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
    Now mind you that is only for those who r in Christ Jesus, which as a
    believer Phil Robertson is. The Bible also says that God is no
    respecter of persons…He doesn’t play favorites. Hence dispelling your
    comment on homosexual marriage by the NT.

  • sean

    Great thought, except that wasn’t the point. You had said that you suppose the government gets to decide, and he pointed out that this trend of what’s happening now is the same as what happened to interracial marriages. He wasn’t making a case for the rightness of that or interracial marriage, just responding to your specific point.

  • sean

    It’s not hateful for you doctor to say that, no. What is hateful is if your doctor tells you that you deserve it. The informing part isn’t hateful, it’s the part where Phil Robertson casts negative aspersions on those “afflicted.”

  • sean

    So long as sinful doesn’t imply deserving of going to Hell, I’d agree with you. But I get the feeling it does imply that…

  • sean

    Interestingly, 1 Tim. 1:10 says the law is for slave traders. Well I’ll have to say it’s more than correct on that front. That’s what people in America justified slavery with when we still had it here.The Bible sets up rules for who you can enslave.

  • Chris Carlascio

    Thank you for your help. I thought he was talking about the government deciding to consider something hate speech. Concerning slavery, I haven’t studied this enough, but some people have argued that the slavery described in the Bible was different than the harsh slavery that took place in the U.S. Some Bibles translate the word as bondservant. So, it would be more like a punishment for crimes committed or something that was done voluntarily for money.

  • sean

    Well, I would certainly be on your side if condemning things as hate speech was the point. I’m very much for free speech. But we’re also allowed to think someone’s speech is in ill taste.

    About Biblical slavery, the voluntary and for money only really applied to the other Jews. (And the rules even there are pretty bad in my opinion) Those not part of the covenant were allowed to be enslaved forever. The crime they committed was not being Jewish, which seems rather unjust, no?

  • Chris Carlascio

    Could you please tell me where the Bible condones enslaving non-Jews with the only justification for that being that they were non-Jews?

  • sean

    Sure thing. I think the easiest show of this would be in Leviticus 25, verses 39 to 46. There are more specific enumerations of rules elsewhere, but that section sums it up rather nicely.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Chris, I only mentioned the government after you brought them up. It was you who brought up slavery too, but the bible condones slavery where the children of slaves can become slaves – you can’t call that voluntary or due to crimes/money.

  • Chris Carlascio

    Thank you. I’m going to quote a couple things from a very rigorous article about slavery and the Bible written by Glenn Miller from the Christian Thinktank. Just let me know what you think:

    “Allowed to ‘buy’ (not take!) slaves from foreign nations around them [Note: these would NOT include the Canaanites, but would be from remote nations. This would make the incidence level of this extremely small, except in the case of royalty or the ruling class. In those days, rulers would often have slaves with special skills, such as writing, teaching, translation, but the lives of these 'slaves' would not be representative of the common "western" slavery under discussion.]

    The temporary resident situation would look more like the Hebrew institution (since the alien would be ‘selling himself’ as in that case). …

    … these aliens were not confined to some ‘lower class’ in the Israelite assembly, since it is obvious that they could rise to affluence and actually BUY Hebrew servants as well …

    … foreigners could easily become members of the assembly of Israel and participate in the covenant blessings, so this is not an exclusion scenario at all.) And indeed, such standard cultural priorities are meant as inducements to assimilate to the host community–they are like a ‘Benefits of Membership’ brochure.”

    He has a lot more information in his article if you’re interested: http://christianthinktank.com/qnoslave.html

  • Andrew Ryan

    Chris, there are loads of links explaining why the bible isn’t against gays too, and hence why Christians shouldn’t oppose gay marriage or try to discourage gay relationships. As easy to find as the link about the bible and slavery you posted, and no less convincing. On the latter, though, you need to ask yourself whether you think it’s moral for a person to own another person, including simply because the other person is the child of someone else you owned.

  • Chris Carlascio

    The author of the article does try to make the case that keeping the child of a slave as a slave has to do with money. He writes:

    ” … the owner paid for the servant girl himself (at typical prices of at least one-third to one-half of all the labor output the male slave would have generated in his 6-year tenure), or, if she was born in the household, then the owner had been paying all her support costs for years and years, with little economic value–given marriage age was around 12-14 (the support costs being considerably more than the male slaves output).”

    So, based on what he’s saying, keeping the children as slaves would have to do with getting back what was lost on supporting the mother.

    In any case, “A slave could also be freed by running away. According to Deuteronomy, a runaway slave is not to be returned to its master. He should be sheltered if he wishes or allowed to go free, and he must not be taken advantage of (Deut 23:16-17). This provision is strikingly different from the laws of slavery in the surrounding nations and is explained as due to Israel’s own history of slaves. It would have the effect of turning slavery into a voluntary institution.” – Raymond Westbrook (ed)., A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law (2 vols, Brill, 2003), p. 1006-1007, vol. 2; https://archive.org/details/AHistoryOfAncientNearEasternLaw

  • Chris Carlascio

    The author of the article does try to make the case that keeping the child of a slave as a slave has to do with money. He writes:

    ” … the owner paid for the servant girl himself (at typical prices of at least one-third to one-half of all the labor output the male slave would have generated in his 6-year tenure), or, if she was born in the household, then the owner had been paying all her support costs for years and years, with little economic value–given marriage age was around 12-14 (the support costs being considerably more than the male slaves output).”

    So, based on what he’s saying, keeping the children as slaves would have to do with getting back what was lost on supporting the mother.

    In any case, “A slave could also be freed by running away. According to Deuteronomy, a runaway slave is not to be returned to its master. He should be sheltered if he wishes or allowed to go free, and he must not be taken advantage of (Deut 23:16-17). This provision is strikingly different from the laws of slavery in the surrounding nations and is explained as due to Israel’s own history of slaves. It would have the effect of turning slavery into a voluntary institution.” – Raymond Westbrook (ed)., A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law (2 vols, Brill, 2003), p. 1006-1007, vol. 2.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    Sean,
    I really don’t think you know any Christians personally. We never point out sin because we are hoping that a person will go to Hell. In fact, it’s just the opposite! We tell people about sin because we want them to realize their need for Jesus, their rescuer from sin.

    Hate is wishing evil upon another person. Christians are forbidden from hating anyone. In fact, it’s a serious sin to hate anyone.

    Why you think it is hateful to tell someone about sin is beyond me. Its completely irrational and incoherent. The more you write on this blog, the more concerned I get that you seriously misunderstand Christianity and simply want to mock Christians. I haven’t seen you write anything charitable or reasonable about Christianity in a long time!

    Maybe it is time for you to take a break from the blogosphere. Go build a relationship with a godly Christian friend and then come back on after you’ve balanced out your perspective.

  • sean

    I don’t think you think it’s hateful. But that doesn’t change it. I agree that under your definition Christians are not being hateful in any malicious way, that’s not what I’m saying. It’s the speech itself that’s hateful. Your question was it it hateful to say that of someone, and my answer is yes. But I don’t think it’s intended that way. Surely not every act of evil was intended that way, though I suppose that depends on the definition of evil.

    I have a great many Christian friends. Such is the nature of living in America. I am well aware that you are not hateful people. But that doesn’t mean your beliefs are not hateful, or that they are free of causing harm. I know you mean well, but the beliefs Christians in this country have about homosexuals are really and demonstrably harmful to them, and I bet I know quite a few more homosexuals than you. Certainly we can agree that if God does not exist, and that there’s some hypothetical situation where there’s no god that hates homosexuality, that the actions taken on behalf of this belief that you hold are wrong, no?

    I belief we live in just such a universe. Do you see where I’m coming from here?

  • sean

    I read it, and it’s pretty interesting, though I’ve yet to look at the credibility of the claims. It my be inaccurate, or it may be entirely accurate. But that’s not the most important for me. Even if it’s accurate, as Andrew points out, my main problems lie elsewhere. I don’t think owning people in general is moral, even if they are not to be treated cruelly in general as I agree probably the case. Slaves in the south weren’t always beaten or treated poorly. That we glean that impression in school is mere propaganda. Yes there were acts of extreme injustice, but slaves were treated very well too. Some were taught to read, etc. Mostly they stood in the middle of those two extremes. But they were still slaves. Their bodies belonged to another human. They were not free. In the case of Hebrew servents, the general rules allow for this potential freedom, with the Jubilee year in the case of a male servant. Except that if you give him a family and he doesn’t want to leave his family when he gets free, (and if he loves them why would he?) there is a special clause that allows him to be your slave forever too.

    In any case, my main concern is not how the Jews acted, but specifically with the commands laid out in the Bible as coming from God. The other stuff is largely irrelevant to what’s in the Books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy and none of it can explain away the fact that according to the Abrahamic faiths, God does not think owning humans is wrong. It also does not refute the fact that there are certain cases where it’s acceptable to God for no punishment to pass upon a man who beats his slave to death, intentional or accidental. The God of the Bible is a complicated figure, He has some great qualities, but also flaws, (decidedly human in that respect, I suppose we were made in his image…) which makes him all the more troublesome for people to defend, especially since he’s a perfectly moral being according to the Bible.

    That’s pretty much my take on the slavery situation.

  • sean

    “We never point
    out sin because we are hoping that a person will go to Hell. In fact,
    it’s just the opposite! We tell people about sin because we want them to
    realize their need for Jesus, their rescuer from sin.”

    I know, you’re trying to save them from your God’s version of ‘justice’ because you actually care. The hate I see is from the meme itself, not from those who believe it.

    Please understand that I don’t think ill of Christians as people, I think ill of the meme they propagate in their sometimes misguided attempts to be good people.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    If it is hateful to claim homosexuality is sinful, then it is also hateful to claim lying is sinful, and to claim murder is sinful, and to claim theft is sinful, and to claim alcoholism is hateful.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    The Bible gets to decide.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Not in the US – look up the Lemon Test. If you want a theocracy you’re in the wrong country.

  • Andrew Ryan

    …or to claim interracial relationships are sinful or being Christian is sinful.

  • Chris Carlascio

    I’m glad you read it. It was pretty long, so I didn’t think you’d be interested. Where does the Bible describe those certain cases where it’s acceptable to beat a slave to death? Exodus 21:20 says, “If a man shall strike his slave or his maidservant with the rod and he shall die under his hand, he shall surely be avenged.” (Stone
    Edition Tanach translation)

    Also, if Raymond Westbrook is right, slavery was voluntary. He writes:

    “A slave could also be freed by running away. According to Deuteronomy, a runaway slave is not to be returned to its master. He should be sheltered if he wishes or allowed to go free, and he must not be taken advantage of (Deut 23:16-17). This provision is strikingly different from the laws of slavery in the surrounding nations and is explained as due to Israel’s own history of slaves. It would have the effect of turning slavery into a voluntary institution.” – Raymond Westbrook (ed)., A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law (2 vols, Brill, 2003), p. 1006-1007, vol. 2.

    So, these kinds of things and other things in the Bible make me think that “owning” people, under the Israelites laws, wasn’t as bad as it initially sounds like (because of what we learned in school). It seems like it’s more like how you own your children and in a sense, other people under your household, but you still support them, take care of them and treat them morally.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Exactly, claiming something is sinful is not hate speech in and of itself. Whether something is sinful or not has absolutely nothing to do with how much the messenger ‘hates’ you.

    Homosexuality is a sin. We know this because the Bible says so, and merely quoting the Bible is not hate speech.

    In fact, hate speech is merely a term used by people to define what they themselves do not wish to tolerate. They hear something they don’t like and they define it as hate speech.

    Hate speech in our society has nothing to do with the intention of the speaker (as we can’t read minds) and has everything to do with the interpretation of the listeners.

    If you think something is hate speech, then you only think of it in that way in your own mind and your opinion doesn’t somehow turn their words into something that they aren’t.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Man made laws don’t somehow fundamentally change the eternal unchanging laws of God and the Bible.

    Even if it is ‘legal’ in the US, it doesn’t make it any less a sin.

  • Andrew Ryan

    The bible says no punishment for beating slave to death if he takes longer than three days to die – “for he is your property”.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Sure, and Muslims can say eating pork is a sin, and many Christians disagree on your interpretation of gays being sinful, just like you disagree with the Christians who figured the bible said slavery was ok.

  • Chris Carlascio

    I don’t think that’s an accurate description of what’s being said in Exodus 21:21. For example, the NIV says, “but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.” Many Bible translations seem to translate it that way and the specific Hebrew word there, amad, seems to be talking about standing back up or recovering and not remaining in the state you’re in. Here’s some information on the word: http://biblehub.com/hebrew/5975.htm

  • sean

    Who’s interpretation of the bible?

  • sean

    I was going to say Exodus 21:21, but your discourse with Andrew puts doubt in my mind. I’d always interpreted the passage to mean that if he survives a couple days before dying then it’s okay. No person I’ve ever spoken to before has pointed out this alternate way to look at it. I’ve heard a lot of people, including Bill if I’m remembering correctly try to defend the Bible when it comes to this passage, but this answer is new. Maybe it’s new because you’re wrong, in which case I implore anyone reading who has a reason to think this is not the correct interpretation to give a cited reason for that. But I’ll absolutely rescind my comment because at this point I don’t know what the Bible is saying. Your defense seems rather compelling. I’ll look into it some more.

    In any case I’m not so keen on this alternate translation either, though it’s not as bad I still think it’s not okay for you to be able to beat someone, and then to not be punished nor is owning people. But it’s certainly nowhere near as bad as what I’d initially thought.

    The freedom rule is interesting as well. It seems to me that that refers to others’ slaves, and not slaves within your own tribe, meaning in other words that the Jews can have slaves, but that’s because they’re special in the eyes of the lord. It would seem consistent with the Egyptian story. But that’s not a firm view, that’s my opinion after reading that specific passage.

    I’m curious if you have anything insightful about the story of Jephthah. Specifically what I’m referring to is the fact that he made a deal with god that whatever first comes out of his house to greet him shall be sacrificed to God. But since we have God as an omniscient being, he knew the girl was going to come out of his house first, and unlike the story of Isaac, he didn’t stop this sacrifice. That seems to me to be a condoning of human sacrifice. I’d love to know your thoughts.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    “Many Christians disagree on your interpretation of gays being sinful”

    Come on, Andrew. As a percentage of Bible-believing, orthodox Christians, that is a tiny minority position. Next, you’ll be saying something like “many Christians believe Jesus was married to Mary Magdelene.”

    You can find bizarre beliefs in every group of people, but to cite those bizarre beliefs and imply that they are the norm for the group doesn’t make for a compelling argument on your part.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    You’re being so careless with the word “hate.” Hate has everything to do with intention. There can be no hate if there is no intention.

    Speech cannot be hateful if the intention of the person uttering the speech is to rescue someone, to save their life. Do you see how utterly backward and confusing it is for you to say Christian speech is hateful?

    What you really are saying is that nobody likes to hear that their behavior is morally wrong. Not me, not you, not anybody. But, and this is important, that is the foundation of the Gospel!!!! All men sin. All of us do bad things.

    We humans sin, every day, in a wide variety of ways. God must deal with sin because it threatens to destroy all of humanity. God is not destroying humanity. Sin is.

    What would be hateful would be for God to sit back and do nothing, and let men utterly decimate themselves because of their morally disastrous behavior. Would you prefer that option?

    Your problem with all of this is that you are a moral relativist who does not think that any behaviors are objectively right or wrong. Until you come to believe that moral values and duties are objective and real, sin will never make any sense to you. Neither will justice. And finally, neither will love.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    Again, what could be hateful about God trying to save the human race from complete destruction?

    God doesn’t arbitrarily hate sin. He hates sin because it kills and destroys life. Sin is the number one problem for mankind.

    If God didn’t do something about it, then he would be hateful.

    Is it your position that sin is good for us? Is immoral behavior a boon to
    human society? Will we flourish and grow and prosper, the more we sin?

    Sean, are you pro-sin?

  • Andrew Ryan

    You’re saying a TINY proportion of Christians don’t disapprove of gays? I know very few homophobic Christians. Maybe it’s my liberal circles, but I think you’re being very unfair on your fellow Christians. Do you have any figures to back this claim up? Most of the US is Christian – if it was such a minority view, how do you explain the turning public opinion on gay marriage?

    You can say you’re only talking about the most literal orthodox Christians, but then I could say your own views on an old earth are out of step. If we just talk about Orthodox Jews you’ll find very minority views too.

  • sean

    “God is not destroying humanity. Sin is.”

    You’re right. This is where I fail to understand you. In what way is homosexuality going to undermine the continuation of humanity? The only two arguments I ever hear against it are it’s an abomination to god therefore it’s a sin, or the if everyone did it. Well if everyone were a bank teller society would collapse too. And if the idea of getting rid of sin is that it destroys humanity, then your argument against homosexuality being a sin makes no sense, it’s just circular.

    And memes can too be hateful. You’re telling me that the Nazi’s who honestly believed in the necessity of their cause were not doing hateful things. It seems to me your definition of hate is the one out of vogue.

  • Andrew Ryan

    So you’ve no problem with someone saying that interracial relationships are sinful, as long as they ‘know’ it to be so due to their own interpretation of the bible? And yes, I have met people with this view, who believe it just as sincerely as you do about homosexuality.

  • sean

    My position is that there are many things god considers sins that I think are not harmful. There are some ‘sins’ that I would agree with in that I think they are bad sure.

    My main problem with sin is the discrepancy between the finite of the crime and infinitude of the punishment. Additionally I also have a problem in that some of the sins, like homosexuality, are not even crimes to start with.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Chris, even this most charitable interpretation involves no punishment for beating your slave with injuries so severe that he or she can’t get up for two days! Not great, right?

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    To be more clear, because we’re being sloppy with words, a tiny proportion of Christians think that homosexual behavior is sinful. Believing that homosexual behavior is sinful is a far cry from being homophobic. Homophobia would be an irrational fear of gay people.

    I believe that homosexual behavior is sinful, but I am not at all afraid of gay people. I am quite comfortable around them. They are just like me in every way except for their sexual attractions. So why would I be afraid of them?

    As far as the circles you run around in, I would say you are definitely in a very liberal-skewed population (UK Christians are definitely far more liberal on average than other Christians around the world).

    I believe that if you took a worldwide poll of Bible-believing Christians (including Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox), you would find that the vast majority affirm what the Bible very clearly says multiple times: sexual intercourse between one man and woman who are married is the ideal. All other sexual behaviors are sinful.

    A person who claims to be a Bible-believing Christian, and who denies what I just said, has basically discarded one of the clearest teachings in the Bible, that of right sexual conduct. Once you throw that teaching out, it’s a slippery slope to throwing out everything you don’t like in the Bible. And that’s exactly what usually happens with liberal Christians. Eventually they become deists, then agnostics, and finally atheists.

    With regard to an old earth, the vast majority of Bible-believing Christians do believe in an old earth, so I have no idea why you have that backwards.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    And now we’re comparing Christians sharing the Gospel with Nazis?

    Sean, there is plenty of research out there showing that homosexual behavior is correlated with much higher rates of suicide, alcoholism, drug abuse, disease, depression, etc.

    I know you don’t believe that research. I know you won’t ever believe it because you don’t want to. It flies in the face of everything you hold dear, which is complete sexual freedom for adults. But the fact remains, sex outside of a traditional marriage is bad for people.

    Sex with multiple partners is bad. Sex between unmarried people is bad. Sex between men and animals is bad. And so forth and so on.

    God designed us to have sex under certain ideal conditions, and whenever we stray outside those conditions, we bring pain and suffering to ourselves.

    Obviously, the pornography-obsessed 21st century enlightened free-sex advocate doesn’t want to hear any of this! I get that. But too bad. Man was not built to have sex whenever, wherever, and with whomsoever he wants. That’s just obvious to me.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Whoever mentioned fear? The colloquial use of homophobia doesn’t infer fear, it’s simply used like xenophobia is regarding race.

    Sure the vast majority of Christians accept an old earth – I said if you’re restricting it to the most bible literalist orthodox Christians regarding gay views, you could also say most of THEM reject an old earth. If we’re talking about the majority of US Christians, a large number don’t see gays in the way you do.

    I was talking about Western Christians. I’m sure if you include Africa you’ll find all sorts of views, including ones you’d distance yourself from. None of this negates my original point to Josh that you took issue with.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Aren’t the higher levels of depression among gays pretty much linked to the hatred and lack of acceptance they get? Control for that and the level are the same as for straights. In other words, gays in families and communities that don’t stigmatise them don’t have any greater levels of alcoholism etc than straights in the same situation.

    And we’re told marriage reduces infidelity, leads to a longer life etc – so one would expect a group unable to marry would have more infidelity, die younger etc, simply because they lack those benefits!

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    If homophobia doesn’t mean an irrational fear of gay people (which is the dictionary definition), then what does it mean?

    It is very frustrating to me when we can’t agree on common definitions of words. You shouldn’t be using a word if you don’t agree with the dictionary definition. It’s just confusing to everyone.

    Why would you restrict Christianity to western Christians? There are hundreds of millions of Christians in Asia, Africa, and South America. Don’t there viewpoints count?

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    Nope, you’re flat out wrong. Whether the gay people studied were in a community hostile to them or friendly to them has no impact on these results. In fact, most of the studies I’m familiar with were done in areas friendly to the gay lifestyle.

    As far as knowing what the impact of marriage on gay people is, there has simply not been enough time or a large enough sample size to draw any conclusions. Your guess is just a guess. In my opinion, we’ll probably have to wait another decade or so before enough evidence will be collected to draw any conclusions.

    Or we may never know. A fear I have about future studies on the gay lifestyle, or gay marriage, is that this topic is so dangerous politically that no researchers will want to touch it.

    Every time someone comes out with a study that shows any negative results, they are mercilessly attacked, mocked, ridiculed, labeled homophobic, threatened with job loss, threatened with boycott, etc. Witness the reactions to research published on my blog as a prime example.

    People promoting gay marriage are simply hysterical when someone disagrees with them. The emotional reactions are way over the top.

    It’s going to take some really gutsy researchers to do these kinds of studies. I just don’t know if there will be any.

  • sean

    Obviously there is a matter of degree, and perhaps that comparison was a bit much, and I suppose it’s possible that you’re right with the research you have, and what I generally experience is wrong.

    I promise that I’ll admit it’s bad if it turns out that it is. (I can see where current data may be hot-button and thus unreliable, from either side) To me, whether or not we allow a freedom is not based on self inflicted harm. I don’t care if it’s demonstrably worse when it comes to freedom. Certainly we should make the data available, but we should not criminalize it. We know certain things are bad for people, but we don’t ban sugar. My grandfather died because the way he ate was bad for his health, and while I wish dearly he made a different choice, it was his choice to make. As gay marriage doesn’t seem to harm those outside even if it were to harm those in it (a claim I indeed do not currently accept), I’d still be for legitimizing and legalizing it.

  • sean

    I don’t know that a control group in America really counts as a control group.

    Also your claim of danger is a bit far fetched, people are already doing studies today. I don’t see that this is going to become less prevalent in the future.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Can you provide any cites Bill?

  • Chris Carlascio

    Sean and Andrew, I plan on responding to you guys soon, but I’m going to be busy for a couple days with Christmas. I’m also looking into some of the stuff we’re talking about, but I’ll get back to you guys as soon as I can.

  • Andrew Ryan

    I’ve never heard it used to mean fear of gay people – who do you know that uses it to mean that or that actually has a fear of gay people? As I said colloquially it just refers to people who view it negatively, or see it as a pathology, or sees it equivalent to incest, etc.

    Dictionary definitions tend to list both fear and general contempt. If someone tried to argue my wife and I couldn’t marry, or that our relationship was equivalent to paedophilia, incest or bestiality, I’d say they were holding us in contempt, wouldn’t you? And that’s regardless if they claimed to hate our actions, not us, or that they were being loving by pointing out our sin.

    We were talking about Western views, I thought. You said the old earth view was the majority one among Christians, so I figured you meant in the West. Many in Africa believe gays should be imprisoned or put to death, and I’m assuming you don’t align yourself with that.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    Read these two books:

    Straight and Narrow? and None of These Diseases

  • Andrew Ryan

    I was hoping for specific studies, but I’ll try to have a look.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Probably the interpretation of Bible scholars and not those who only read the Bible for the purpose of trying to find flaws and contradictions no matter how absurd said flaws and contradictions might sound.

    ie: “This verse says “Now God created the animals” but it said he created them like a chapter ago but he couldn’t have possible created them twice!”

  • Josh Wiltshire

    I don’t judge the opinions of others based upon their own interpretation of the Bible, but rather what the Bible actually says. Misinterpretations are quite common these days, but statements about homosexuality in the Bible are quite straight forward.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Mankind does not decide morality, God does. We can not change morality just because we don’t ‘agree’ with it.

    Also, slavery in the Bible was not slavery as we think of it. We think back to the early days of America and the enslavement of blacks. But servants back in the days of the writing of the Bible were much closer to butlers or maids, not humans being forced to work with no pay, minimum amounts of necessities provided to them and no freedom.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Just as statements condoning slavery are pretty straightforward. Basically you claim it’s straightforward when it matches with your own views, but you say there’s nuance when it appears to conflict with your views.

  • Andrew Ryan

    OK, the former book, by Thomas Schmidt, appears to cite Paul Cameron – a thoroughly discredited psychologist. Schmidt’s book has also been criticised for its sampling methods. For example, it shouldn’t need a ‘pro gay activist’ to understand there will be a risk of skewing if you draw your sample of gays from men seeking help with STDs! He also cites several studies that admit they cannot be used to make generalisations about gays in general, but he goes ahead and makes those generalisations anyway.

    Does the second book you mention cite any studies at all? I want to know where you get your claim that how ‘gay-friendly’ a gay’s upbringing is makes no difference to their susceptibility to suicide, drug problems etc. Actualły, I not you don’t quite say that, you just say the studies were done in gay friendly areas. This is too vague, I’m afraid.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Not everything can be black and white like that. Just because homosexuality is said to be sinful in the Bible doesn’t mean that the Bible says that all forms of slavery is acceptable because a much more tame ‘butler like’ servanthood is in the Bible. Just like the verse “Drink but do not get drunk.” there are degrees, and a lifetime of payed servanthood where you are practically a member of the family is not the same exact thing as what black slavery was in the early days of America where you would kill slaves just for doing their job wrong or something.

  • Andrew Ryan

    It’s not butler like servitude though, is it? So your point fails. It talks about putting a peg through your slave’s ear. When do you do that to a butler? When do your butler’s kids automatically also becomes your property? Doesn’t work, Josh. Happy Chritsmas.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    Go read my series of blog posts on OT slavery. You clearly don’t understand it.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    Have you actually read these two books or have you merely googled their titles and gone to websites that don’t like their conclusions? I’m guessing the latter.

    Both books thoroughly document numerous empirical studies, providing all the citations you could ever want. They are also written very charitably. These are not homosexual attack books.

    I’m sure you’ll never read these books because you don’t like what they say. That’s too bad because you might have actually learned something from them.

  • Andrew Ryan

    I did read the series, and commented on the problems the series had at the time. Those comments still stand.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    Why are you so intolerant toward people that disagree with you?

    It sounds like you’re saying, “It’s OK if you call certain behaviors sinful, as long as I agree, but as soon as you call something sinful that I don’t agree with, it’s hate speech.”

    I thought the secular left prided itself on tolerance and free speech? Maybe you should do us a favor and send out a list of behaviors that we are no longer supposed to call sinful any more. That way you can just muzzle everyone who disagrees with you so we can stop hurting your feelings.

    The word “hate” is a conversation stopper. It is used by a person who doesn’t want to talk, they just want to shut up the person they disagree with. In other words, it’s a power move.

    If you have better arguments for why your list of sins shouldn’t be sins because they are actually good for mankind, then let’s hear the arguments.

    Tell us how unlimited sex between any two or more adults is good for us. Tell us why pornography advances our society. Tell us why the government should actively endorse and encourage any and all forms of sexual relationships between adults. We’re waiting for an argument………

  • Andrew Ryan

    Bill, I didn’t say I’d read them, but your reply doesn’t negate the problems with the Schmidt book that I mentioned. It’s great that he quotes empirical studies, but if those studies came with the caveats that I mentioned, then he can’t draw the conclusions you say he did. And do you defend the use of samples drawn from gay men seeking help with STDs? Don’t you see that that can’t cannot give you an unskewed view of gay promiscuity? By definition it’s going to give you a promiscuous sample to draw from! It would be the same if you took a sample of straight men by visiting a brothel!

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    If ALL the research was done on gay men seeking help with STD’s, I agree that would be disappointing, as that would certainly limit the sample population and possibly skew results.

    However, even if all the men studied were seeking treatment for STD’s, you could still get useful information from those men. There is no obvious reason to believe that a person with an STD would be more prone to suicide, depression, drug addiction, or alcohol addiction. Modern liberals tell us that there is nothing damaging to a person who wants to have sex with lots of people. Right? Yet that’s what these studies seem to show.

    Also, consider the possible fact that sexually active gay men may indeed have a much higher incidence of STDs, and therefore a large percentage of them may be getting treatment for it. In that case, the skew wouldn’t be as far.

    Nonetheless, there are numerous studies cited in these books from different sources. You shouldn’t let this one issue dissuade you from reading the book. And don’t forget the other book I mentioned.

  • sean

    Which Biblical scholars? Moreover, you misunderstand what the real issues are. Obviously a repeat accounting is permissible, the problem is when the accounts conflict.

    i.e. Genesis 1 and Genesis 2!

  • Andrew Ryan

    There are CLEAR reasons men with STDs would be more likely to have those problems. For a start, having an STD would be likely to make you depressed! Being a drug addict is more likely to make you engage in risky sexual activities as it affects your judgment and so would correlated with STDs. Suicidal people are probably more likely to engage in risky sexual activity too as they’re not considering long-term matters.

    People who are happy in their relationships and life in general are less likely to get STDs as they’re not seeking extra excitement through outside trysts.

    Those are just a few obvious reasons, but there are probably many more.

    So of course this would skew results.

    “Also consider that sexually active men…”

    That’s begging the question, and getting it backwards. You’re using these polls to show that the men ARE sexually active. Obviously men with STDs are more likely to be sexually active. That’s like starting with the assumption that Texans are more likely to be religious, trying to prove it by interviewing Texans, but then doing all the interviews in Texan churches, with the justification that because Texans are more religious, that’s where you’d expect to find them!

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    I wrote a blog post about why Gen 1 and 2 do not conflict. Please go read it.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    So Andrew, you believe that gay people, as a population, are exactly identical to heterosexual people when it comes to monogamy, suicidal feelings, depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, contracting sexually transmitted diseases, and life expectancy? All this research is just bunk? There is no literally no difference in any of those things between the heterosexual and homosexual populations?

  • sean

    Interesting post. I don’t know why you would even need to defend it as someone who doesn’t see it literally, unless I’m mistaken on that front. Certainly you don’t think Adam came up with a name for every animal in one day? That leads to a contradiction between 1 and 2 as well. I never specified which contradiction I was referring to. It happens to be the latter of these two arguments, though I would admittedly have also asserted the former if questioned by Josh on that front.

  • Andrew Ryan

    If it’s true that marriage increases life expectancy and decreases depression and carries a number of other benefits – which I believe you maintain yourself, and in fact I also believe is also backed up by research – then it would also follow that a group unable to marry would correspondingly have shorter life expectancy etc.

    Also, I would expect that gays would be more likely to get depressed as a group due to the bullying they get, likelihood of family rejection etc. Do you know studies that genuinely control for this? In other words compare suicide depression between gays with differing family acceptance? I’m fairly sure the studies I’ve seen explicitly tie higher rates of depression to bullying from parents or peers. If you know to the contrary, let me know.

    Anyway, these are both results of the sort of oppression I would like to see reduced. They should not be used as a justification for the oppression. Feel free to substitute a different, less emotive word for oppression – I use it as shorthand rather than to score a point.

    I do NOT deny that male gay sex spreads STDs more. I’m also pretty sure that lesbian sex is actually SAFER than straight sex. Gay men need to practice more safe sex.

    What I find interesting is that I see other Christians critical of the gay lifestyle who argue that it is the GAYS who are erroneously claiming a huger rate of gay suicide/depression, in order to gain sympathy!

    I can’t paste on this tablet, but google Peter LaBarbera’s “The Gay Youth Suicide Myth” on OrthodoxyToday.org
    He is NOT friendly to the gay cause. He provides extensive footnotes.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    And when exactly do they whip their slaves and brand them with stokes? I didn’t say it is the exact same thing, I said it is a lot closer to a butler like servitude than the slavery that Americans often reference, not the exact same thing.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Oh, look, two chapters. Mind actually posting the verses that ‘conflict’ and why you believe they conflict? Relying on vagueness will get you nowhere.

  • Andrew Ryan

    How are you making that ‘closer to this than that’ judgment?

  • sean

    Sure, Genesis one clearly states that God made man and woman on the 6th day. Genesis two states that before God made Eve (which is supposedly on the same day as Adam) he had Adam name all the animals, all of them. That would take more than a day. There’s your contradiction. The two accounts conflict.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Probably because the early american slavery wasn’t just servitude but also involved assault, murder, kid-napping and various other things, though they were not called such at the time. While those things were not existent in the servitudes mentioned in the Bible.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    You are making multiple assumptions. Genesis 1 says God created mankind (male and female) on the sixth day, not that he then created Eve, but that he had created mankind. Also, you make the assumption that it would take Adam more than a days time to name all the animals. The Bible says that Adam named all livestock, birds and wild animals. So pretty much this is limited to land mammals and birds. Also, most Biblical scientists believe that there weren’t nearly as many animals as we see today. There were multiple original animals, like just one breed of dog that was the ancestor of all modern dogs. Same thing with cats, elephants, etc. so he didn’t have to name every single different breed, as there was likely only one breed per species. This is also a very likely reason as to why all land animals could fit onto the ark.

    The two accounts do not conflict. Your misinterpretation of the two accounts conflict, just like in every other ‘example’ of contradictions in the Bible.

  • sean

    Clearly you’ve not read Genesis 1:27 where it explicitly states that he creates both man and woman. And I do make the assumption that it would take Adam that long yes. Is your argument, by the way, that these multiple kids of animals evolved to have different subspecies? At any rate, there are 400,000 known species of beetles alone. Those are wild animals on land, and thus would have to be named by Adam. 400,000 seconds pass by over 4.5 days. And I’m not even including all the other types of creatures that exist on land. Adam would have to be naming creatures at an absurdly fast rate to make these accounts match.

    These two accounts conflict. Your misinterpretation of the two accounts conflict, just like every other ‘interpretation’ that explains away contradictions in the Bible.

    Moreover, why are you trying so hard to defend a literal view of Genesis in the first place? I was under the impression most Christians just say it’s a story that isn’t real, and that’s how they deal with the conflicts. It’s allowed to conflict because Genesis one and two, they’re just stories. (Kinda like I think the rest of the Bible is) Do you fall outside fo this group? Do you take Genesis literally? If you want to claim subspecies evolution, I hope you realize the dog was domesticated way before the 6,000-10,000 years ago that Genesis supposedly happened.

  • Nina Simone

    It would be easier for you to reconcile the accounts if you understand that Genesis is written in first person narrative authorship, Meaning Genesis one is from the perspective of GOD. As to where Genesis 2 is Adam’s account. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning GOD created the Heavens and the earth” The First Person Narrative Authorship of GOD ends at Genesis 2:3 and the account being recorded next is from Adam’s perspective. “Genesis 2:4 “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens”

    In Genesis 1 it is “GOD” I.e first person narrative In Genesis 2 it is “The LORD GOD” Adam is calling GOD his LORD because GOD is the LORD.

    Furthermore, In order to grasp the concepts in Genesis you need to let go of your biased perspective. Your interpreting Genesis through the perspective of Material Evolution which is in direct opposition to Genesis and only 1 can be right.

    You state “there are 400,000 species of beetles alone”, but what you willfully ignore is that they are ALL beetles. A beetle can never change its “kind” no matter what “type” of beetle it is, it is always going to be a beetle. You should ask yourself why you refuse to accept that and would rather make unprovable assumptions in order to attack the truth that GOD is your Creator.

    The literal view is the correct view. It is the Truth as it is written. Sadly people don’t want to recognize that GOD created the heavens and the earth and all that in it is, in 6 literal days. Yes, GOD is just that powerful. GOD bends the elements and creates universes in space and time. Hello! GOD is by HIS very definition “All mighty” “All Powerful” “Everlasting”. GOD created time, space and matter within the dimension of Eternity. (yes there are more than 4 dimensions) Now that is powerful. Can you grasp that concept? Can you be honest with yourself and ask yourself why you refuse to accept that GOD is your boss? Could it be you think you could do a better job if given the chance? (lusting after the throne of GOD eh’)

    And on the 7th day GOD rested. it wasn’t the type of rest because GOD was tired (which an ungrateful creation who lusts after HIS throne has mocked HIM with) It’s the type of rest where you stand back look at your finished work and enjoy it. GOD wasn’t tired, GOD was pleased for when HE finished HIS work it was all “very good”.

    People either don’t know (& are destroyed from lack of knowledge Hosea 4:6) or refuse to accept the true definition of words and what GOD is telling us in the BIBLE and that is because of evil intent by our enemy satan (and those who perpetuate and accept it because they also refuse to bow to their Creator.) to destroy the definition of words and cause confusion. “GOD is not the author of confusion” 1 Corinthians 14:33

    The word “Gay” is a perfect example of this. Gay means happy, but it has been hijacked and manipulated to mean homosexual. Why? Because the word Homosexual describes the sexual act between two men which is literally grotesque. That’s a fact. Anal copulation, whether its two men or a man and a woman, is disgusting in principal. It is an exit for feces. Not only is it grotesque it is extremely damaging to the human body. Hello! Lets be honest. So the word gay is used instead to make the fact that homosexual men are in fact engaging in anal copulation, palatable. You can use all the words you want to try and explain away the act but that won’t change the fact that it is a grotesque practice to those who have not been purposely desensitized to it and it is an extremely damaging practice. Get over it.

    GOD is the star of the show. GOD is the boss and we are not and we never will be. That is the root of all sin. Lusting after the throne of GOD. That is the sin of satan and the angel’s that followed him and it is the sin of Adam and Eve and every generation following. They thought they could become GOD. It’s the same reason why the Pharisees plotted to and crucified JESUS CHRIST, because they feared all the people would follow HIM and they would lose their positions of power.
    It is the same lie taught in every false religion including many branches of self claimed Christianity. It is the lie of evolution that permeates through all branches of pagan doctrine, since the fall of man, the tower of babel up to the present day darwinian evolution. You will not become a god and you will surely die and you will face the Judgement Throne of your Creator GOD.
    Get over it. you’re a creation of the LORD GOD and you will always be the created and not the Creator. GOD makes the rules for HIS good pleasure and because GOD is good the rules are good and are beneficial to HIS creation including you. Breaking the rules is a sin against GOD and destructive to ourselves and others both physically and spiritually and that’s a provable fact. Can you come to terms with that? Can you come to terms with the fact that you owe GOD an explanation and that GOD owes you nothing for HE already has given you all things you need and then some?

    “Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” Job 38:3-4

    Let’s be honest. Search your heart and ask yourself the hard questions.

  • sean

    It would be easier for you to reconcile the accounts if you understand that Genesis is written in first person narrative authorship, Meaning Genesis one is from the perspective of GOD. As to where Genesis 2 is Adam’s account. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning GOD created the Heavens and the earth” The First Person Narrative Authorship of GOD ends at Genesis 2:3 and the account being recorded next is from Adam’s perspective. “Genesis 2:4 “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens”
    In Genesis 1 it is “GOD” I.e first person narrative In Genesis 2 it is “The LORD GOD” Adam is calling GOD his LORD because GOD is the LORD.

    okay, I understand the premise, but don’t see how that impacts the contradictions found within. One of the two accounts still has to be wrong.

    Furthermore, In order to grasp the concepts in Genesis you need to let go of your biased perspective. Your interpreting Genesis through the perspective of Material Evolution which is in direct opposition to Genesis and only 1 can be right.

    I agree that only one can be right, and only one view has evidence behind it, mine.

    You state “there are 400,000 species of beetles alone”, but what you willfully ignore is that they are ALL beetles. A beetle can never change its “kind” no matter what “type” of beetle it is, it is always going to be a beetle. You should ask yourself why you refuse to accept that and would rather make unprovable assumptions in order to attack the truth that GOD is your Creator.

    You are the one being biased. if you look at genetic differences, which you think your God gave every species, beetles are an order. The objective standers of differentiation laid out in genetic code your god created classifies beetles as within the same order. So if Adam gave every order a name, as opposed to species he’d certainly have an easier time of it I’ll agree. But it also means that the Philippine tarsier is man ‘kind’. is a tarsier mankind? That’s what your method would have us accept.

    The literal view is the correct view. It is the Truth as it is written. Sadly people don’t want to recognize that GOD created the heavens and the earth and all that in it is, in 6 literal days. Yes, GOD is just that powerful. GOD bends the elements and creates universes in space and time. Hello! GOD is by HIS very definition “All mighty” “All Powerful” “Everlasting”. GOD created time, space and matter within the dimension of Eternity. (yes there are more than 4 dimensions) Now that is powerful. Can you grasp that concept? Can you be honest with yourself and ask yourself why you refuse to accept that GOD is your boss? Could it be you think you could do a better job if given the chance? (lusting after the throne of GOD eh’)

    It’s not that I don’t want to recognize it so much as that that view contradicts what we know about reality. While I agree there are possibly more than four dimensions, eternity isn’t one of them. I don’t even think you know what you’re saying by that. It honestly sounds like you’re just making stuff up here. I refuse to accept god as boss because I don’t think he’s real. It’s like you accepting that santa says you need to be good, Well that’s a very silly reason if you don’t think santa is real.

    And on the 7th day GOD rested. it wasn’t the type of rest because GOD was tired (which an ungrateful creation who lusts after HIS throne has mocked HIM with) It’s the type of rest where you stand back look at your finished work and enjoy it. GOD wasn’t tired, GOD was pleased for when HE finished HIS work it was all “very good”.

    (I’m not sure what the text in the parentheses means, I really don’t understand how it relates to the text to all) Now you just sound like you’re preaching instead of addressing actual issues. I happen to be well aware of the Christian views of god as not getting tired. Your idea that I’ve simply not heard this information before is silly.

    People either don’t know (& are destroyed from lack of knowledge Hosea 4:6) or refuse to accept the true definition of words and what GOD is telling us in the BIBLE and that is because of evil intent by our enemy satan (and those who perpetuate and accept it because they also refuse to bow to their Creator.) to destroy the definition of words and cause confusion. “GOD is not the author of confusion” 1 Corinthians 14:33

    definitions like kind? We disagree about what god named the animals because we are evil? That doesn’t really seem like an evil ting to do. While god may not be the author of confusion, his followers sure are.

    The word “Gay” is a perfect example of this. Gay means happy, but it has been hijacked and manipulated to mean homosexual. Why? Because the word Homosexual describes the sexual act between two men which is literally grotesque. That’s a fact. Anal copulation, whether its two men or a man and a woman, is disgusting in principal. It is an exit for feces. Not only is it grotesque it is extremely damaging to the human body. Hello! Lets be honest. So the word gay is used instead to make the fact that homosexual men are in fact engaging in anal copulation, palatable. You can use all the words you want to try and explain away the act but that won’t change the fact that it is a grotesque practice to those who have not been purposely desensitized to it and it is an extremely da maging p ractice. Get over it.

    No, gay used to mean happy. It still kinda means that, but barely. Yo act as though every word change is with malicious intent. Do you understand at all anything about how languages evolve? And I’d submit to you that it’s not any more gross than “regular” sex. You (I assume by your homophobia and your name you must be a woman) bleed once a month, or did at one point in your life. That’s pretty darn gross too.

    GOD is the star of the show. GOD is the boss and we are not and we never will be. That is the root of all sin. Lusting after the throne of GOD. That is the sin of satan and the angel’s that followed him and it is the sin of Adam and Eve and every generation following. They thought they could become GOD. It’s the same reason why the Pharisees plotted to and crucified JESUS CHRIST, because they feared all the people would follow HIM and they would lose their positions of power.

    I thought the root of all sin was eating the apple, not being boss. Moreover, wasn’t Jesus’s crucifixion part of the plan the whole time, otherwise there wouldn’t be a substitutionary atonement for us to receive god’s grace. You’re telling me Pharisees did evil, but that if he did good that would be bad? That make no sense.
    
It is the same lie taught in every false religion including many branches of self claimed Christianity. It is the lie of evolution that permeates through all branches of pagan doctrine, since the fall of man, the tower of babel up to the present day darwinian evolution. You will not become a god a nd you will surely die and you will face the Judgement Throne of your Creator GOD.

    Wait, what happened to god not being the author of confusion? Did he not punish man by causing us to not speak the same language? That seems to be authoring confusion exactly. Moreover, the only way we can tell whether something os correct or not is by seeing how well a statement comports to reality. And it would seem that your view loses to evolution in the regard, regardless of how sinful you think the view is.
    
Get over it. you’re a creation of the LORD GOD and you will always be the created and not the Creator. GOD makes the rules for HIS good pleasure and because GOD is good the rules are good and are beneficial to HIS creation including you. Breaking the rules is a sin against GOD and destructive to ourselves and others both physically and spiritually and that’s a provable fact. Can you come to terms with that? Can you come to terms with the fact that you owe GOD an explanation and that GOD owes you nothing for HE already has given you all things you need and then some?

    No, I cannot come to terms with that until god’s existence can be demonstrated to a higher degree than Zeus’s.

    “Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” Job 38:3-4
    Let’s be honest. Search your heart and ask yourself the hard questions.

    Where was I, well, the question is leading, it assumes priors that I don’t concede. It would be like me asking when you topped killing puppies. The question is simply ill formed. That said, if we accept the premise, I wasn’t there. So what?

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    If I’m hearing you correctly, you are saying that the only difference between gay and straight populations, once we correct (somehow) for the “oppression” of gays, is that gay men, in particular, tend to have more unprotected sex than straight men, gay women, or straight women. This leads to a spread in STDs above the rate you would expect for a similar size population of straight men. Is that correct?

    So, in your mind, if all humankind would treat homosexual sex as perfectly normal (as normal as heterosexual sex), we legalize gay marriage, and we could somehow convince gay men to wear condoms more often, the differences between gay and straight populations in terms of mental health, disease contraction, life expectancy, and so forth, would be non-existent.

    The two populations would be statistically identical in every meaningful measurement of well-being. Is that correct?

  • Josh Wiltshire

    I’m not just talking about degree. I am talking about how one involves physical abuse and the other does not. It’s not just that one physically abuses less than or more than the other. It’s that physical abuse just doesn’t exist in one case and it does in the other.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    When he created man he created both genders. Besides, I already explained to you that naming all of the animals mentioned in genesis could very well have taken less than a day’s time.

    You also seem to lack a firm grasp of what evolution is. Microevolution is not contradictory to Creationism and the Bible, because microevolution is what we observe on a daily basis. It is how we arrived at so many different breeds of dogs. It’s what darwin observed in his finches. There is a huge difference between changing within your species and changing into an entirely new species.

    Genesis doesn’t say that Adam named the insects. It says he named birds, livestock and wild animals. So that limits it to large scale mammals and bird species, not insects, fish, reptiles, etc.

    You are obviously not talking to any real Christians. No Christian I have ever met just writes off Gen 1 and 2 as just stories. Your personal experience with a few misled ‘christians’ have taught you exactly what Christians don’t believe.

    I would love to see your historical record for this “Domestication of the dog” things. Where exactly are you getting that information? From an evolutionary source? One that relies upon the completely assumption based numbers produced by carbon and radiometric dating?

    Doesn’t seem to matter how much it is explained to you. You seem to be resorting to the same point that was just refuted. But whatever, so is the atheist method of debate.

  • sean

    “When he created man he created both genders. Besides, I already
    explained to you that naming all of the animals mentioned in genesis
    could very well have taken less than a day’s time.”

    No, he created Adam, then Eve later. Their creation was not concurrent as your above statement implies. And this is something you know, so I don’t know why you’d phrase it like that.

    You also seem to lack a firm grasp of what evolution is. Microevolution is not contradictory to Creationism and the Bible, because microevolution is what we observe on a daily basis. It is how wearrived at so many different breeds of dogs. It’s what darwin observed
    in his finches. There is a huge difference between changing within your species and changing into an entirely new species.”

    One of us actually interacts with biologists a lot, and it’s me. I understand what evolution is, thanks. And yes, finches that are a different species. We can do this if you want:

    If you look at genetic differences, which you think your God gave every
    species, finches are a family. The objective standards of differentiation
    laid out in genetic code your God created classifies finches as within
    the same family. So if Adam gave every family a name, as opposed to
    species he’d certainly have an easier time of it I’ll agree. But it also
    means that the orangutan is man ‘kind’. Is the orangutan mankind? That’s what your method would have us accept. This would imply that they have souls exactly like ours. and also therefor need to accept Jesus as their lord and savior to get into Heaven or they get damned to Hell for their sins. Do they? Is this what you believe?

    “Genesis doesn’t say that Adam named the insects. It says he named
    birds, livestock and wild animals. So that limits it to large scale
    mammals and bird species, not insects, fish, reptiles, etc.”

    So the word wild animal excludes all those things you listed because those are domestic animals? No, they are wild animals and it says that he named the wild animals. Therefor, he named them. (Except maybe the fish I’ll grant, because they’re in water)

    There is a huge difference between separate species and separate subspecies. We as humans have seen speciation events in addition to subspecies evolution? The big difference, buy the way, is the number of generations and how different the selection pressure is. Usually this means it just takes more time. But if you truly understand evolution then if you accept subspecies evolution you also necessarily accept evolution as a whole, including speciation events. It’s the same process, just over a longer period of time, creating more exaggerated distances. Even if you don’t agree that it happened, you should understand that it’s theoretically possible.

    Domestication of the dog:
    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/27240370/#.UsgbZ_YjTlc

    I’d love to get you a study to read, but paywalls. (That’s a topic for another day. R.I.P. Aaron Swartz)

    “One that relies upon the completely assumption based numbers produced by carbon and radiometric dating?”

    I’d like to clarify that carbon dating is a form of radiometric dating, there’s no need to phrase it like that. Scientists have a large number of dating techniques, radiometric dating happens to be the most reliable of them all. I know geologists too. If you’d like to explain to me why you think carbon dating is not a viable method, given that it’s based on simple mathematical concept know as the half-life, and works based on the fundamental laws of physics, please, enlighten me. It’s really accurate as far as I’m aware. The only times I’ve seen it give inaccurate results is when it gets misapplied by creationists, or people who want the Shroud of Turin to be real really badly.

    “You are obviously not talking to any real Christians. No Christian I have ever met just writes off Gen 1 and 2 as just stories. Your personal experience with a few misled ‘Christians’ have taught you exactly what Christians don’t believe.”

    Probably because you know a less diverse set of Christians than I do. There’s more than one denomination, and people outside of your group think differently. Here’s an article from the answers in genesis site, where they’ve taken time to attempt to prove to other Christians that genesis is real:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/05/31/why-dont-many-christian-leaders-and-scholars

    I guess they too have a misunderstanding of ‘real Christians’ and the quotes from people who really do think genesis is wrong are just lies? Their site clearly won’t convince any Christians because they already all accept this as true. You should probably email them and let them know they’re wasting their time.

    “Doesn’t seem to matter how much it is explained to you. You seem to be resorting to the same point that was just refuted. But whatever, so is the atheist method of debate.”

    I’m sure you see it that way. What I see is that you claim to understand evolution when you clearly do not. You most likely don’t understand a wink of biology outside of what people who have a predetermined christian agenda have explained to you. And you don’t even understand when Christians understand the Bible in a way that is different from your understanding. I see that you cannot demonstrably show that these accounts do not conflict without a lot of spin that I’m trying to show you doesn’t actually work to disregard my criticisms. That’s what I see.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    You are misunderstanding what I am saying. He created mankind (which includes both male and female) at that point, not both adam and eve simultaneously.

    You are limiting God’s design by your own scientific classifications.

    The only reason you are ‘seeing’ contradictions is because you are only reading them looking for said contradictions, even when they are not there.

    Look, I understand enough of science to know that if evolution had solid proof, that it would be presenting it. But it isn’t. The best that every evolutionary I talk to can do is say “Micro-evolution is similar enough to macro-evolution” and leave it at that. No observations. No genetic mutations that introduce completely new information instead of borrowing or altering old information. No proof against intelligent design. No explanation for the origin of life. No explanation for the origin of morality. No legitimate explanation for the cambrian explosion. No legitimate refutation against the second law of thermodynamics directly conflicting with the very nature of evolution. No explanation for the origin of the universe.

    It doesn’t matter how many times you say “‘God did it’ isn’t a valid explanation for anything!” it doesn’t contradict the fact that intelligent design explains EVERYTHING and all evolution can do is struggle to keep itself valid in a single area (the same goes for virtually all areas of naturalism). It surrounds itself by scientific facts that do not imply the correctness of evolution, hoping to seem more legitimate. It is claimed to be a necessity to many areas of science when the only thing it could be considered a necessity to is a knowledge of our alleged biological history. Its supporters constantly resort to attacking the opposition rather than explaining their own beliefs. It relies upon its own terms as “required” in science when said terms only just attempt to complicate things.

    Yet the best defense it can come up with is “Look at micro-evolution, and macro-evolution is theoretically possible given a naturalistic presupposition.”

    Macro-evolution is example A in the textbook of circular reasoning. It relies upon vagueness and unexplained assumptions to seem reasonable enough to the common folk and relies upon naturalistic presupposing scientists who believe “A natural explanation can be the only explanation, any other explanation is automatically impossible despite evidence to the contrary.” to remain valid in the scientific community.

  • sean

    Look, I understand enough of science to know that if evolution had solid
    proof, that it would be presenting it. But it isn’t. The best that
    every evolutionary I talk to can do is say “Micro-evolution is similar
    enough to macro-evolution” and leave it at that.

    We do it because it’s a pretty good analogy if you accept micro-evolution. Am I to assume correctly then, that you do agree with evolution in principle, but that you just don’t happen to think it happened here. But that given enough time, it probably will?

    No observations.

    Incorrect. The fossil record, and DNA evidence both point strikingly towards evolution. There’s a great scientist named Francis Collins who did great work on the human genome project. His plea to other Christians is to not argue against it because everyone who actually studies the evidence in a serious way (normally indicated by becoming a scientist, getting papers published and doing experiments etc.) comes to the understanding that evolution is not really a subject of science to doubt.

    No
    genetic mutations that introduce completely new information instead of
    borrowing or altering old information.

    Right, because that’s what evolution is. It’s a compilation of adaptations. You will concede to adaptations that are visible surely, as in Darwin’s finches? Evolution is just that process continuing over a really long time. First a mutation here, then one over there, until when you go back so may generations, the two creatures are clearly distinct from one another. In what way is altering existing information by the way, not the addition of new information. If I alter table information by adding legs, or making the legs different or something, I’ve added the new information of new legs, or whatever modifications to the legs I’ve made.

    No proof against intelligent
    design.

    Because it’s an unfalsifiable claim, and therefore not even under the jurisdiction of science to disprove. Moreover, you should look into the Dover trial, because there they actually presented lots of evidence that refuted every single point ID proponent Behe brought to the table. He would say, well x is irreducibly complex, and scientists would scurry off and come back with a way that it can not be. Every time.

    It doesn’t matter how many times you say “‘God did it’ isn’t a valid
    explanation for anything!” it doesn’t contradict the fact that
    intelligent design explains EVERYTHING and all evolution can do is
    struggle to keep itself valid in a single area (the same goes for
    virtually all areas of naturalism).

    Just as it doesn’t matter what you say because the pixies in my garden can be used as an explanation for why my vegetables grew 5x bigger than yours and you can’t know immediately without investigation why my plants get bigger so my explanation wins. We don’t always have every answer, but sometimes you jsut don’t know and you don’t just get to assert that a creator did it because my tested theory can’t explain everything yet.

    No explanation for the origin of life.

    Correct, though you misunderstand what evolution is supposed to say. Evolution dies not claim to solve abiogenesis. Science is still working on that one. We can’t always have all the answers right now.

    No explanation for the
    origin of morality.

    Nonsense. There are plenty of reasons morality can be selected for.

    No legitimate explanation for the cambrian
    explosion.

    An assertion that God must have done it because I cannot think of a better explanation is also not a legitimate explanation for the Cambrian explosion.

    No legitimate refutation against the second law of
    thermodynamics directly conflicting with the very nature of evolution.

    I see you also aren’t a physicist. Entropy in no way contradicts evolution. If it does, would you like to explain why physicists don’t reject the field of biology?

    No explanation for the origin of the universe.

    Again, not evolution’s jurisdiction.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    I’m not saying that it is evolution’s jurisdiction. However, it is an area that naturalism can not explain, and evolution is very much a part of naturalism.

    The second law of thermodynamics says that a closed system gains entropy over time, but that doesn’t mean that an open system does not function the same way. In fact an open system gains entropy at a faster rate BECAUSE it can transfer matter with other systems.

    The cambrian explosion didn’t happen. It’s not like God caused the cambrian explosion because the cambrian explosion was not a real event.

    There are no reasons in nature for a true morality to exist, and there are no methods of a true morality existing in nature either. Unless your definition of morality is it being meaningless arbitrary blind opinions. A man-made morality is self-refuting.

    The excuse “We will figure it out someday.” is about as much of a cop-out as “God did it.”, you do realize that don’t you? You can’t just say that science will figure it out someday as a fact. That would mean you would be putting blind faith into it, something that most atheists like to bash Christians about.

    Scientists can scurry off and come up with lots of words that sounds fitting together to convince the average person. You should take pure theory-crafting at face value.

    If we really want to get into naturalism vs. intelligent design. All we must do is look to cosmology and the universe’s origin.

    Something can’t naturally come from nothing and the universe can not have existed for an infinite amount of time into the past. This isn’t just “We will figure it out someday.”, this is “We have scientific laws that contradict a natural origin.”

  • Andrew Ryan

    “In fact an open system gains entropy at a faster rate BECAUSE it can transfer matter with other systems.”

    The earth gets a massive input of energy from the sun. That’s what overcomes entropy on earth.

    “if evolution had solid proof, that it would be presenting it. But it isn’t.”

    Science works on evidence, not proof. If you think evidence hasn’t been presented then you’re simply not looking. Go to talkorigins’ site and read the section called “29+ Evidences for Macroevolution”.

  • Andrew Ryan

    “It’s that physical abuse just doesn’t exist in one case and it does in the other”

    Except we’ve already established that there was no punishment for beating a slave so they were in bed for two days afterwards – that holds whether we interpret the passage to involve their death after two days or their getting up and walking after that.

    Either way, being bedridden for two days following a beating is ‘physical abuse’ by anyone’s reckoning.

  • sean

    I’m not saying that it is
    evolution’s jurisdiction. However, it is an area that naturalism can not
    explain, and evolution is very much a part of naturalism.

    And sometimes we just don’t know what happens. That doesn’t make your explanation viable.

    The second law of thermodynamics says that a closed system gains
    entropy over time, but that doesn’t mean that an open system does not
    function the same way. In fact an open system gains entropy at a faster
    rate BECAUSE it can transfer matter with other systems.

    Andrew handled this one quite well.

    The cambrian explosion didn’t happen. It’s not like God caused the
    cambrian explosion because the cambrian explosion was not a real event.

    Okay dude…

    There are no reasons in nature for a true morality to exist, and
    there are no methods of a true morality existing in nature either.
    Unless your definition of morality is it being meaningless arbitrary
    blind opinions. A man-made morality is self-refuting.

    Depends on you definition. If you want to say morality exists without humans, then no it does not. So what? Does that diminish its value to you?

    The excuse “We will figure it out someday.” is about as much of a
    cop-out as “God did it.”, you do realize that don’t you? You can’t just
    say that science will figure it out someday as a fact. That would mean
    you would be putting blind faith into it, something that most atheists
    like to bash Christians about.

    I’m not saying we will. I’m saying we don’t know. Maybe we will have a naturalistic explanation, and maybe it will be god. But all the stuff that’s been proven has been naturalistic. God’s never been a proven answer to anything so far as I know.

    Scientists can scurry off and come up with lots of words that sounds
    fitting together to convince the average person. You should take pure
    theory-crafting at face value.

    I do that’s why evidential based science is what holds weight, not someone’s interpretation of the bible that they think makes sense.

    If we really want to get into naturalism vs. intelligent design. All we must do is look to cosmology and the universe’s origin.

    ID has literally nothing to say about that, and is not the antithesis to naturalism. To the point of the universe, we don’t know anything about what happened before the big bang. There are lots of untestable claims out there from scientists and religious folks alike. But only one group admits that it has no basis farther than a guess.

    Something can’t naturally come from nothing and the universe can not
    have existed for an infinite amount of time into the past. This isn’t
    just “We will figure it out someday.”, this is “We have scientific laws
    that contradict a natural origin.”

    Can you demonstrate that it is impossible for something to come from nothing? And while the big bang version of the universe cannot, you have proof that whatever happened beyond that that cause it, to the extent that the word cause has any meaning, cannot have been naturalistic? We have laws that describe how the universe works now. The laws here may not be applicable to non-universe circumstances. So our laws do not contradict that. And I don’t know that we’ll figure it out. In fact my guess is that we won’t, but I’ll admit that’s just a guess. Can you admit that you also don’t know what happened before the universe began?

  • Josh Wiltshire

    I have seen the ‘evidences’ however science works on proof to the extent at which we are willing to believe it. There are multiple kinds of evidences in science. There is the kind of evidence that points towards a ‘big bang’ (we know something had to happen and that is the ‘best’ explanation some scientists can come up with) and then there is evidence for many mundane life mechanics such as cells, physics, etc. that we know almost certainly because they have been observed and tested a countless number of times. Evolution is a lot closer to the former than the latter.

    The only reason evidence seems to exist is because many scientists view evolution as the only option, therefore they don’t need to be shown conclusive evidence in order to believe it. They just need to believe that it is ‘possible’ in order to believe it, and vague ‘evidences’ that they can force to imply evolution is certainly enough for them.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Sounds to me like the passage is not encouraging the beating of slaves, but is discouraging it. I also don’t see where it says that are required to be bed-ridden. A beating like that would usually incur death. I don’t think it is classified as physical abuse when it is done as punishment (as the slave is working for their master, and making their livelihood on their master) for wrongdoing, probably similar to the way that people punished their own children.

    With a beating classified as physical abuse, it could easily have killed a person in that day and age without sufficient medicine. It sounds like this passage was instead drawing the line between ‘proper punishment’ and ‘physical abuse’.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Something can not come from nothing because in a natural universe, in order for a reaction to occur, it must have an action. Something must be there to create the cause that then forms an effect.

    In order for a natural origin to be correct, there had to have been absolutely nothing (no matter, no energy, no laws, no dimensions, etc.) and then SOMETHING had to happen that caused it to all suddenly exist, and that something had to simultaneously create every law, dimension and piece of matter and energy that exists to this day, all within the exact same moment. If the laws came first then they would be prohibiting the introduction of matter/energy to the universe because of the first law of thermodynamics. If the laws came second then whatever came before them would be classified as supernatural by definition.

    Whatever formed the universe had to both follow the natural laws (in order to be classified as natural) and create those natural laws. Otherwise the origin would be classified as supernatural.

    There can be no such thing as a pure 100% self-occurring, self-creating natural phenomenon.

  • sean

    You’re taking that which we’ve observed in this natural universe to be true for all beyond it as well. That’s not what people, to my knowledge, are asserting. I’m pretty sure people jsut say I don’t know. Additionally your assertion that “Whatever formed the universe had to both follow the natural laws (in
    order to be classified as natural) and create those natural laws.
    Otherwise the origin would be classified as supernatural.”
    makes little sense. If you want to define nature as the way the natural machinations of the matter and energy in this local universe that has existed post big-bang are nature and everything else is super-nature, than I too believe in a supernatural cause for the universe. But what’s to say that this cause did not also have a physical substrate, and why is the Bible good enough to assert that it had to be smart. if someone gets crushed by a rock, did that have to be orchestrated? or can stuff that’s not intelligent do stuff?

    your assertion that “Something can not come from nothing because in a natural universe, in
    order for a reaction to occur, it must have an action. Something must be
    there to create the cause that then forms an effect.” is also not one I agree with. In this universe that’s what what have observed to be true. but can you demonstrate the impossibility of this?

  • sean

    It occurs to me, Bill you have actually read the article right? I understand here you’re specifically asking about whether it’s hateful in general, but the way he framed it is important, and distinguishes him from someone like you who’s making a philosophical argument. He insinuated that blacks were happier before the civil rights movement. And more than just say it was sinful, I think people have a problem that he equated it with bestiality, which, I don’t know about you, but I think non-consensual sex is a little different from consensual sex.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    The point is that science claims to only dabble in the ‘natural’, the ‘observable’ and that is mainly where the difference between the natural and the supernatural is stated. Claiming that the universe could be formed from something that would follow alternative laws of nature (ie: NOT the laws of nature, but instead completely different laws that aren’t natural by definition) is just as supernatural as claiming the existence of a creator.

    Stuff that’s not intelligent, or thinking, like a rock, is affected by the world around it. If the only thing that existed was the rock with nothing else existing around it, then the rock wouldn’t actually be doing anything. It’s quite a crazy situation to try and imagine though, what without gravity and a ground and all. It would just float there in nothingness, not moving and not acting for eternity.

    Science makes the leap of faith that the supernatural doesn’t exist, that whatever is outside of our possible mortal observation must not exist. It is hypocritical to suggest the existence of other universes with different laws while you reject the existence of a creator. You can’t prove either one, we can’t observe either one. Saying “Well, MAYBE we will know how it works someday!” isn’t a valid argument. it’s like me saying “Well, when you die you will know the truth.” and then expecting you to take that as a valid argument.

    It’s simple. The natural world, our world, the entire world that is in the apparent ‘jurisdiction’ of science, could not have created itself, and if it did not create itself then science can simply not answer the question of origin and it will never be able to because they automatically rejected dabbling in the area of the super-nature.

    A supernatural answer is shunned by the scientific community because they just don’t want to answer scientific questions with non-natural answers. Meanwhile that seems to be what they have to resort to lately, what with the multiverse and all that. They just choose to call it scientific, even though it is not observable, yet they then say that God is nonsense just because?

    A universe that is fine-tuned for the existence of life? That points to a designer, not just the existence of an infinite number of possibilities. Science seems to rely a lot on infinity these days, even though it is a term that no human can fully comprehend.

  • Andrew Ryan

    “I also don’t see where it says that are required to be bed-ridden.”

    Depends which translation you’re reading Josh. Biblegateway.com allows you to view Exodus 21:20-21 in around 50 different translations. Have a look.

    “Whenever an owner hits his male or female slave with a stick so that the slave dies from the beating, the owner must be punished. But if the slave gets up in a day or two, the owner must not be punished. The slave is his property.”

    There, getting up pretty clearly suggests that before the slave/victim was unable previously to get up. Other translations say “…if he continue a day or two”. If that simply means that he survives a day or two then, again, it suggests dying AFTER that period is fine.

    Here’s another translation: “But if the party remain alive a day or two, he shall not be subject to the punishment, because it is his money.”

    That seems even more problematic to your argument.

    I see your choice here is that either there’s no punishment if the slave is merely bed-ridden for day or so, or there’s no punishment if the slave takes longer than a couple of days to die. At best it’s still suggesting that there might be a day when the survival of the slave from beating is in doubt.

    If you have a translation that you think suggests another meaning to either of those two, then feel free to offer it. Pending that, I don’t see how you can avoid the condoning of beating slaves.

    “probably similar to the way that people punished their own children”

    You think it’s permissible to beat a child ‘with a rod’ so they’re bed-ridden? You think it’s permissible to do that to someone ELSE’S children, simply because the parent of that child is your ‘property’? Really Josh?

  • Andrew Ryan

    “Evolution is a lot closer to the former than the latter”

    Josh, I don’t think you know much about what the evidence for evolution actually is. It’s one of the best-supported theories in science. It’s been said that very little in biology actually makes sense without it. You seem to believe the evidence amounts to a few fossils. You’re very much mistaken.

  • sean

    I agree. Right now, and in my personal opinion probably forever, we don’t know what happened before this universe, which means we have no reason to posit Christianity other than a book. But we have lots of other religious books too. And it may be the case that all the books are wrong and it’s something else. But you seem to think a reasonable conclusion is that an all-powerful being created the universe. I don’t understand why we should accept that explanation.

    In addition to your rock, thinking things would also not move. Maybe you could argue that for a while have we have internal animations. But a coiled spring would too for a bit. But both we and the spring will quickly lose that power, and become like the rock. Same with every object.

    Science makes no leaps of faith regarding the supernatural. Perhaps some people do, but the method does not.

    “The point is that science claims to only dabble in the ‘natural’, the
    ‘observable’ and that is mainly where the difference between the natural
    and the supernatural is stated. Claiming that the universe could be
    formed from something that would follow alternative laws of nature (ie:
    NOT the laws of nature, but instead completely different laws that
    aren’t natural by definition) is just as supernatural as claiming the
    existence of a creator.”

    Given the binary nature of this dichotomy, that’s not entirely impressive that it’s just as supernatural. But fine, if you want to call that supernatural then I believe the universe probably came about as a result of supernatural causes. Why should I believe this cause had the ability to think without a brain? And why should I believe it has the power to make without a material body, or just make in general since making out of nothing has never been observed?

    And how do you know it was fine tuned for life? One could also argue that it was fine tuned to burn people, which points to an extremely evil designer. Just because in one spot in the universe there is life doesn’t mean it was fine tuned for it. Just like just because there is one human (or several) that has burned doesn’t mean we are fine tuned for burning.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Consent is quite an important issue to me when it comes to sex. I can only presume that it’s not that important to people who equate gay sex to bestiality or underage sex. Of course, Phil Robertson is on record giving advice to men who want to snare underage girls, so he obviously doesn’t have a problem with the latter.

  • sean

    Very true. He himself managed that feat.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Takes longer than a couple days to die? Would this be a result of infection then I must believe? They certainly wouldn’t take more than 2 days to die from bleeding out. King James version also provides an alternative translation, saying that if they continue a day or two, not recovering after a day or two.

    You are also making multiple assumptions. Like I said, this verse is clarifying what is acceptable and what is not. If they are able to continue working they are fine, however if they die as a result of the beating, the master is to be punished.

    As far as beating children goes. This goes back to parenting style. It was much stricter in the past all across the world. Children were much more disciplined than they were today, and in fact beating a child with a rod was not crazy unheard of not even 200 years ago. Spankings are sort of politically incorrect these days, but that doesn’t really define morality.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    “Very little in biology makes sense without it.” is an opinion. If somebody sees evidence for a creator, but they don’t think a creator makes sense, then obviously they will say “It doesn’t make sense without evolution.”

    They only believe it makes sense because they have embraced the self-fulfilling prophecy that “Only the natural exists, so only a natural explanation would make sense, therefore evolution makes sense.” to justify to themselves that only evolution makes sense, because they have rejected any alternative explanation a priori. They make the assumptions that any other explanation is automatically false, so of course they arrive at the conclusion “Only evolution makes sense.”

  • Josh Wiltshire

    The definition of supernatural is beyond the natural. Nothing else. Of course, God is not only supernatural, but all powerful as well.

    There are multiple evidences showing it is fine tuned for life, not just the distance from the sun. The distance between the nucleus of an atom and electrons, the strength of the weak/strong force, the nature of H2O, etc. and these things aren’t just confined to a single point in the universe.

    The reason to believe the creator of the universe is supernatural is because a designer designs things, and as we can observe in our own world, things that can’t think can also not design. We as humans can design structures and computer programs because we are thinking. if we were just brainless lumps we would not be designing structures and computer programs. It is safe to assume that since we are designed in the likeness of God, that he also is thinking, like us. Since we are a product of design (not just random masses of energy and matter), it is safe to assume we were designed by a designer.

  • sean

    Okay, so I agree that that which is designed is designed by a designer. it’s trivial to say that. The question is were we designed? The only way to know that would be to contrast ourselves with that which is not designed and other things we know are designed. But you think everything in the universe was designed, so it’s entirely circular on your part to say we look designed. You think everything looks designed. You have no frame of referential comparison to assert your argument from.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Then let’s compare human designed things. Let’s uses legos as an example. Each block represents an extremely basic type of structure. Each piece has a different shape and can serve a different function.

    The first structure of legos is a castle, complete with turrets, windows, a throne room, a dungeon and little lego people in little lego suits of armor.

    The second structure is just a bunch of randomly chosen lego pieces stuck together in random ways.

    The first structure has a little lever you can pull to open the drawbdrige, and then another little lever that can open a trap door. Each lever is connected to multiple other pieces in just the right way in order to work. While the second structure may have the SAME pieces, even in close vicinity, they don’t work together like they do in the first.

    Which one do you think is designed? It is true to say that either one
    could have been a result of random placement, however that conclusion is
    unreasonable. It is reasonable to conclude that the first is designed and the second is not.

    Things in nature work, and they work together. Atoms interact with one another. Things work. Everything doesn’t just perform an individual function. Even at the atomic level, the protons, neutrons and electrons work together. Matter and energy work together consistently. The world is predictable. Just the fact that we can predict outcomes shows that it is not reliant on randomness.

  • sean

    What kind of Legos did you play with growing up? Levers? At any rate, since they were stuck together they were both designed. One happened to be designed by someone more like Nathan Sawaya, and the other by someone more like a little kid who thinks he’s Nathan Sawaya but can’t build legos well. It’s just like how Salvador Dalí could paint really well but a little kid cannot. But they were both designed. How many lego buildings have you seen that were all stuck together without someone to do the sticking? A brain is behind every lego creation because they come out of the factory separately. If lots were stuck together, both were designed. Here’s the problem. You don’t actually know how to recognize design. As a result, you think it seems like we were designed, and cells were designed, and trees were designed by intelligences. You couldn’t be more wrong. Would you care to learn how to actually recognize design?

  • Josh Wiltshire

    If you want to get technical, imagine the castle compared to a pile of legos on the ground, not stuck together or anything.

    Also, lego trapdoor: http://tinyurl.com/jw2df9q

  • sean

    Yeah, you played with fancy Legos. Trapdoors and the other door was on hinges. I only ever had the regular bricks. That’s different, and I still think that was also the result of an intelligence. A kid dumped them in a pile. I’ve worked as a counselor at camps, and the thing you learn is to push everything into a pile and scoop the pile as opposed to running after every brick and putting it into the bin. It’s more efficient. I am still not convinced you understand how to recognize design properly.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    There is a difference between being a result of something and being directly designed by something.

    I am not convinced you understand how to recognize something that isn’t designed. Probably because there exists nothing that isn’t designed, that when broken down into separate pieces, legos were still designed at a factory.

    Can you explain what it means to not be designed?

  • sean

    well we were talking about the design of the arrangement, not the actual pieces. And I am aware that you think everything is designed. It’s probably a big part of the reason why you don’t understand how to recognize design. I don’t understand though, how you think you can discern between design and not design if you have only ever experienced design (as you see it). You’d see a new thing as designed by default. I don’t understand how you discern between design and non-design. What it means to not be designed is that it comes about without an intelligence behind it without which it could not exist. So, as I see it, trees come about without people, and so I can generally infer that when I see a tree, it probably wasn’t designed. Now there are plants that were bread by people (I don’t know whether or not you accept that as true) so it is possible to think something wasn’t designed and to be wrong, but you shouldn’t just make a leap of faith that it was designed. You should wait until other evidence is presented. Can you explain what you think it means to be non-designed, because as far as I can tell, you think everything was designed, because God made the universe, and so when we bring you an example of something not designed, you just assert that well, okay so god doesn’t create the baby in us when we have sex, it’s cells, but god must have made those. It’s an argument form ignorance and is a logical fallacy. Now I could be wrong, and that’s not how you see it, but I await your correction on that matter if that’s the case.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    The flaw in your logic is that while a tree did not come about through human interaction necessarily. It did come about for a reason, through a particular process. That process of which was designed.

    It is indeed difficult to try and define what something would be like that wasn’t designed. How about you tell me the method at which to determine whether something is designed or not.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Actually Josh, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” is a 1973 essay by the evolutionary biologist and Russian Orthodox Christian Theodosius. So saying the sentiment comes from an atheistic standpoint is simply false.

  • Andrew Ryan

    “I am not convinced you understand how to recognize something that isn’t designed.”

    You tell us Josh – how does one determine what is designed and what isn’t? What method do you use and how does one test that method?

  • sean

    I know you think it was designed, but I believe the trees came about through evolution, an unguided process. It came about by some explanation, but the scientific explanation doesn’t involve any intended design at all.

    What we do when we look for design, is that we contrast what we know occurs naturally without human intervention with that that requires human intervention. So if we see a knockoff Lego, we think people, because melted plastic bricks, I don’t see that in nature. I do see it out of the Lego factory. But if you see a new variety of tree, you’ll probably think it is some species, and won’t think it was directly crated through genetic engineering. Now it could have been, but I think we both agree that’s not the reasonable assumption, that some human made it and planted it there. That is how we recognize design. Is the method 100% foolproof, no. Does it fit your model of reality, well no. But your method has to be that just everything is designed, and I don’t know where to go with that. And that’s not even the method you proposed. Do you understand the circular nature of that kind of claim?

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Based on an article written by one dude?

  • Josh Wiltshire

    You are the ones claiming we came about as a product of non-design. I am the one claiming we came about as a product of design. It only would make sense for you to define it, not me.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    You can’t explain and document complete randomness. Order and consistency is not a direct result of randomness and chaos.

    If humans came about by an unguided process, then our actions are predictable, like the actions of animals. We truly would have no free will as everything we do would be the product of synapses in our brains. If we were formed through a natural unguided process then we would have no will to think for ourselves and design something new, rather we would be merely be partaking in predictable natural occurrences.

    Design is a product of choice. Do we put the red lego on next, or the yellow lego? Which would work better? If we have no free will, then we have no choice, and nothing we ‘construct’ is truly designed, even if we appear to be making choices, those choices were set in stone long before the choice even presented itself.

    If humans can not ‘design’ things then your definition of design is false. If we rely on instinct in everything we do, nothing we do is a choice and nothing we construct is designed. Like how ants might construct an anthill, but they don’t design one.

  • sean

    I suppose that depends on your definition of design, but we already know that my definition doesn’t fit with your worldview since you think everything was designed. Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system, as per the first sentence of the Wikipedia article on the word. I suppose we should define plan too, since I’d imagine your definition involves free will. As per Wikipedia, (I like Wikipedia) a plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with timing and resources, used to achieve an objective [...] It is commonly understood as a temporal set of intended actions through which one expects to achieve a goal.

    That doesn’t involve free will, just thinking ahead. So I’m talking about the difference between stuff that comes about via processes not thought out, or planned, ahead of time vs stuff that is premeditated. And to that end, while I’m not an expert on ants, I don’t know that anthills are not designed. They may well be. It depends on how much intent they are capable of, something I just don’t know.

    Design is in no way incompatible with determinism. It’s a product of planning, not choice. I didn’t even seek out alternate definitions for design or plan by the way, Wikipedia’s the first thing I went to, so it seems to me that you are the one who has a definition of design not in vogue.

  • sean

    Moreover, our behavior is predicable in the same way many animals have predictable behavior. Your dog will probably wag its tail when you come home, and you’ll probably reciprocate the gesture when your significant other tells you he or she loves you.

    Psychology is an entire science dedicated to predicting and understanding human behavior.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Planning involves choice, otherwise it wouldn’t be planning, you wouldn’t need to plan if you didn’t need to make choices on what action to take.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Human behavior being predictable shows that not even we design things, as once again, design involves choice, which involves free will. It isn’t just driven by pure instincts.

  • sean

    Planing involves intending the future before it happens. I will put on a blue shirt tomorrow because it’s blue shirt day or whatever. I look into the future to determine what I’m going to do. I’ll do my homework because I want to be the President and so I need good grades. That’s all planning. It’s intention before stuff is right in front of you. Where did you get choice from that?

  • sean

    We have a different definition of design. You’ve chosen one against the grain that involves free will necessarily.

    So if predictability means there’s no free will, I’ve heard tell a certain book says that god’s good nature doesn’t allow him to lie. Or that it makes him love, or create man or forgive man. So, I predict God will always tell the truth, and will be loving tomorrow. So God doesn’t have free will now that I predicted how he’s going to act in the future?

    I don’t believe in free will, but this argument against free will doesn’t hold water. It’s like saying the sky is blue because potatoes. Okay well I agree that potatoes exist, but that’s not why the sky is blue. I agree with a deterministic model, but your argument here doesn’t get you there.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Except those things are linear. Situations arise on a daily basis where goals can be accomplished one of multiple ways, or where you can choose from a variety of different goals. Maybe if there was an actual blue shirt day it might work like that, but when many people go to their closest they don’t know what they are going to wear before they open it.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Your arguments don’t make sense. Do you believe we have free will or do we not? If there is no free will, then everything is an absolute. If you are a determinist, then free will does not exist as we are all on a set course, predetermined to do whatever we do.

    The only thing that could be designed in a world like that would be the predetermined path that the world would be running on.

    Your definition of design is wrong. You only assume that humans can design and that nothing else capable of design can exist therefore only what humans seem to construct can be classified as design, instead of just defining design and then looking at the world in that way. You have the presupposition that only humans can design (and nobody else) and that is why you arrive at that conclusion.

  • Chris Carlascio

    Hey Sean. I’ve been really busy. I found a couple of YouTube videos by J.P. Holding that talk about Jepthah. He’s a little harsh, but his videos are more interesting than me typing everything up.

    (Part 1): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpPk4WLBcTM

    (Part 2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6QZOmMy0Bg

    (Part 3): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRrpWMaC-E0

  • Chris Carlascio

    Sorry, it’s taken so long to respond. I’ve been really busy.

    “The right of a master to discipline his slave within reason is recognized. But according to rabbinic exegesis, it is restricted to the use of an implement that does not normally have lethal potentiality, and it may not be applied to a part of the body considered to be particularly vulnerable.” – Nahum M. Sarna (gen ed)., The JPS Torah Commentary (5 vols., JPS, 1989), p. 124.

    “Although slaves were viewed as the property of heads of households, the latter were not free to brutalize or abuse even non-Israelite members of the household. On the contrary, explicit prohibitions of the oppression/exploitation of slaves appear repeatedly in the Mosaic legislation. In two most remarkable texts, Leviticus 19:34 and Deuteronomy 10:19, Yahweh charges all Israelites to love (‘aheb) aliens (gerim) who reside in their midst, that is, the foreign members of their households, like they do themselves and to treat these outsiders with the same respect they show their ethnic countrymen. Like Exodus 22:20 (Eng. 21), in both texts Israel’s memory of her own experience as slaves in Egypt should have provided motivation for compassionate treatment of her slaves. But Deuteronomy 10:18 adds that the Israelites were to look to Yahweh himself as the paradigm for treating the economically and socially vulnerable persons in their communities.” – Ken Campbell (ed)., Marriage and Family in the Biblical World (IVP, 2003), p. 60.

    This treatment seems to be similar to the treatment of a free person:

    “If people quarrel and one person hits another with a stone or with their fist and the victim does not die but is confined to bed, the one who struck the blow will not be held liable if the other can get up and walk around outside with a staff; however, the guilty party must pay the injured person for any loss of time and see that the victim is completely healed.” (Exodus 21:18-19)

    “If two people fight but no one dies, the aggressor is punished by having to ‘retributively’ pay (out of his own money–‘silver’, ksph) for the victim’s lost economic time and medical expenses. If it is a person’s slave and this occurs, there is no (additional) economic payment–the lost productivity and medical expenses of the wounded servant are (punitive economic) loss alone. There was no other punishment for the actual damage done to the free-person in 18-19, and the slave seems to be treated in the same fashion. Thus, the ‘property’ attribute doesn’t seem to suggest any real difference in ethical treatment of injury against a servant.” – Glenn Miller, “Does God condone slavery in the Bible?” Christian Thinktank (March 18, 2004);

    Free men could also be punished by the legal system by rod-beating (Deut 25:1-3; Prov 10:13; 26:3), as could rebellious older sons (Prov 13:24; 22:15; 23:13; 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 89:32; Is 10:5).

    Also, if a master caused any type of permanent damage to a slave, the slave was given immediate freedom:

    “An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye. And an owner who knocks out the tooth of a male or female slave must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.” (Exodus 21:26-27)

    “The ‘eye and tooth’ passages are considered by commentators to be representative of all ‘body parts’, just as the lex talionis (‘eye for eye and tooth for tooth’) … ” – Glenn Miller, “Does God condone slavery in the Bible?” Christian Thinktank (March 18, 2004);

  • Andrew Ryan

    You’re the one claiming supernatural intervention. We have an explanation for the diversity of life on earth – natural selection. It’s backed up by a wealth of evidence in different scientific disciplines. In reply you’re simply saying things looked designed to you. Tell us what your method is for detecting design.

  • Andrew Ryan

    I can give you the names of other prominent theist evolutionary biologists if you want. Ken Miller is a particularly famous one. The point is that your ad hominem of ‘only atheists would say that, because they want to hang on to their atheism’ is not only a logical fallacy (being an ad hominem), it’s also factually incorrect.

  • Andrew Ryan

    Going with intuitive logic, a choice is either:

    a. fully caused,
    b. executed in a complete random fashion, or
    c. is partially caused and partially random.

    There cannot logically be a fourth option, yet the traditional notion of “free will” entails that there is.

  • sean

    But you also have the option to not participate in blue shirt day, or the, I’m no sure I’d call it an option, but you might forget about blue shirt day, and then you wouldn’t wear a blue shirt except by chance. And people who, as you say don’t know what they are going to wear before they open their closets, like myself 99% of the time, are not exercising ‘planning’ when they do that.

  • Andrew Ryan

    “Spankings are sort of politically incorrect these days, but that doesn’t really define morality”

    We’re talking about beating people with staffs so they’re bed-ridden. Nothing like spanking a child.

    “They certainly wouldn’t take more than 2 days to die from bleeding out.”

    People go into comas after being beaten and then die a few days or even weeks later. You often hear in court cases – a doctor will testify that the beating caused the coma and the eventual death, and the charge becomes murder/manslaughter rather than simple GBH.

  • sean

    It is indeed harsh, I don’t particularly enjoy the term ‘fundy atheist’ as a pejorative unlike many people on both sides, I can look past stuff like that to actual content. It certainly delivers the insight I was hoping for, thanks. Not that you’d know the answer because it’s a general wondering about people, but it seems like a lot of these justifications are relatively obscure. I’m very curious as to why I’ve not heard them before if the Bible is supposed to be God’s holy book and Christians are supposed to, you know, understand it and be able to defend it rationally and logically.

  • Chris Carlascio

    I’m glad that you can look past stuff like that and I am sorry that you had to listen to his cheap shot insults. I’m sure he’d get a lot more viewers if he was more respectful.
    Concerning your question, I guess I’d say that many people who believe that the Bible is God’s holy book just don’t bother to understand some of these things and don’t bother to defend them. Maybe they haven’t been challenged enough. I think the objections about slavery and human sacrifice that you guys bring up, on the face of it, are good and challenging objections and even personally, I want answers to those questions if I’m going to believe that the Bible is God’s holy book. So, that’s why I try and look into these things.
    If these explanations are correct, it would seem that another big problem is translating the manuscripts accurately.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Except the planning you are talking about is reactionary. As in “Tomorrow is blue shirt day, therefore I will wear a blue shirt.” whereas the planning I am talking about is “Tomorrow is the first day of school, I need to choose which color shirt I wear because it wasn’t pre-determined by some imaginary blue shirt day.”

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Natural selection exists and has lots of evidence. Macro-evolution is a supposed product of natural selection that doesn’t have nearly as much evidence. Intelligent design doesn’t conflict with natural selection.

    The problem with design is that naturalists have a presupposition that “Design only means something that humans made that nature didn’t” and you are expecting me to come up with a method to detect only that type of design.

    Design is something that is intended by an intelligent agent. One of the reasons why things in nature appear to be designed is because there are numerous examples of things in nature that are far more complex than anything that mankind could design. While you may say “Well, that’s just because of randomness for billions of years.” while that theory is not proven and is an unreasonable conclusion; to look at something more complex than anything mankind could ever design and assume it was made entirely with non-design.

    Your definition has nothing to do with the complexity or nature of the object in question, but merely whether or not it has any evidence to show it was ‘designed’ or ‘constructed’ by mankind, and that’s it.

    I won’t be able to convince you to change your definition, your pre-supposition, so you aren’t going to be happy with my explanation either way. Unless you can get past your own a priori pre-suppositions that “God doesn’t exist, that’s a fact.” and “Everything that exists came from nature, that’s a fact.” then you obviously aren’t going to agree with my explanations.

    You are merely asking me to repeat your own definition of design because you believe that is the only definition, and if you get any other answer you will just say I am wrong.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    We have to go back to the Bible on this one. It claims to be infallible, so for a ‘Christian’ to just ignore whole books and implant their own beliefs, it is nonsense. If you don’t believe in the Bible as a whole, then you don’t believe in any of it.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    True randomness is one of those things that we humans can not obtain. Just like nothingness and infinity. No computer can have a true random number generator. Perfect randomness doesn’t exist. If everything in a natural world truly is cause and effect, then nothing can truly be random.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Planning is planning, no matter how short term it is.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    As I said, spanking is sort of politically incorrect these days. Obviously more intense versions of it would also be more politically incorrect.

    To me it sounds like the Bible is saying that if they recover within 2 days then there is no punishment. I then infer that taking longer than that amount of time to recover would also incur a punishment.

  • sean

    I don’t see how that isn’t equally as reactionary since it’s in reaction to school starting, just more options. Nor do I think I understand what planning independent of stimuli to react to looks like.

    Even if we put someone in a sensory deprivation chamber, there’s still the stimuli of their thoughts. If we get rid of that too, then there’s just no planning. Planning is in response to stimuli. That’s how we work.

    Reactionary is the name of the game.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    The existence of options implies the existence of choice. If there was no choice, there would be no options, and vice versa.

    Something can be reactionary and also a choice. If you think about it, even the things we often think of as us being forced to do is still a choice. We can still wear a red shirt on blue shirt day after all.

    Either free will exists or you must embrace determinism. Determinism would made sense in a purely natural universe, but would not make sense in a universe designed to allow free will to exist.

    If free will did not exist, then there is no right or wrong, as everybody would merely be subject to the deterministic life that they were pre-determined to live before they were even born, yet in our society we openly embrace the existence of choice. We say that everybody has the right to choose for themselves many things, that our future isn’t set in stone, that we can change our destiny or our future and other stuff like that. However, without choice, without free will and ultimately without design, such a concept would never be correct.

    It is difficult to explain free will for the same reason it is difficult to explain what design looks like. A human without free will has just never existed. It’s like trying to explain the concept of existence in relation to something else. We would be robots without free will.

    You are making the pre-supposition that “Not free will” exists and basing your conclusions off of that. You assume that since it exists that it must has some effect on us, when in reality only free willed humans exist and you have merely defined “Free will” as “Not free will” and that is why you can’t see the free will for what it is, you have hidden it behind your “Not free will”.

  • sean

    If you honestly believe I define free will as ‘not free will’ I don’t know what to say. That’s so utterly and completely outside the realm of coherent conversation and thought it baffles me endlessly. It would be like me accusing you of not existing. It’s really on par with that. I never claimed anything remotely close to free will does not exist because free will does not exist. If you really and honestly think I have then please go back and construct a syllogism using only material quoted from my text proving this.

    You said “Except the planning you are talking about is reactionary” as though you were taking exception with my example (that’s what except means). I explained that your doing so was silly because everything is reactionary: everything. You then responded by saying so what if it’s reactionary. Well I don’t know what, I’m not the one who thought it was a problem, you did.

    Your definition of right and wrong may necessitate free will, but mine does not. I am perfectly capable of and comfortable with using abstract standards of judgement that have no basis in free will as you would define it.

    The idea that people speak in a certain way, therefor it is true is obscene and an offense to logic.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    It’s not on par with not existing. The only thing I can think of to define something that is “Not free will” is “Not free will” itself.

    Something can be reactionary and have the eventual outcome be influenced by an outside source, however some reactionary actions might be made in spite of an outside source. Claiming that “Since today is blue shirt day, I must wear a blue shirt.” is not a refutation of free will or the existence of choice as it involves choice itself.

    Your statement is one where the choice is dependent on another choice; “Will I follow the rules of blue shirt day”? Not “Will I wear a blue shirt today?” like you were implying.

    An abstract standard is one that would have to be determined at some point, and could you guess what is involved in determining something? If it was pre-determined, then it would not be an abstract standard, but if it wasn’t pre-determined then it would have to be determined at the time; by a person making a choice. Subjectivism doesn’t refute the existence of free will. The existence of a shade of gray implies the existence of black and white, but not the other way around.

    I agree with you. I see people ‘talking’ about how obvious evolution and naturalism is, while ‘talking’ about how unlikely and illogical God would be, without ever providing legitimate evidence to support their claims, and when they do all they can muster up is a link to some site with an article that they didn’t wright.

  • sean

    “you have merely defined ‘Free will’ as ‘Not free will'” was your assertion, which I rejected by writing the first section of my previous comment. Now you are responding to the idea that “Not free will” is “Not free will” which is an idea I agree with fervently. I like tautologies. People think they are meaningless, but I disagree. The logical absolute are tautologies, and I think they’re pretty meaningful (as an example) But more to the point you’re switching up what you’re talking about here. First you accused me of defining free will as not free will and now you’re talking about not free will being not free will. I said the accusations were similar because the idea that I think not free will is free will is contradictory, just as me telling something it doesn’t exist without being schizophrenic is contradictory. The accusations are both blatantly absurd.’

    “‘Since today is blue shirt day, I must wear a blue shirt.’ is not a
    refutation of free will or the existence of choice as it involves choice
    itself.” is fine. I agree. My point with that example was only to demonstrate an example of planning. It was not supposed to be an assertion that that particular situation doesn’t involve choice, though I can see how that could’ve been taken the wrong way. I wasn’t asserting that that doesn’t involve choice, only asking why it has to involve choice, which I think is what you’re asserting.

    I think a lot of people on both sides assert without really actively understanding their side of the argument, and are thus forced to redirect. Sometimes though they do cite credible authorities on subjects, and don’t want to take false credit for stuff, which is fine.

    I don’t recall if we settled this, but do you dispute evolution as a concept, or just that it happened here on Earth. The concept of natural selection on some level is so obvious that I think everyone who has it explained to them and understands it even a little can see how it’s true in theory. The specifics are a subject that’s less obvious.

    And depending on the god asserted, many syllogisms with fewer than 10 steps show how the assertions are logically contradictory, therefor making the god fairly obviously illogical. Where likelihood is concerned, anyone who thinks they understand how to calculate those probabilities either a) deserves a Nobel prize or b) is wrong. I’m pretty sure every case you’ve run across is b, which you probably agree with.

  • Andrew Ryan

    I guess murdering children by bludgeoning them to death with a baseball bat could be described as simply ‘more politically incorrect’ too. No idea what you’re trying to argue by using that label, or what its relevance is.

  • Andrew Ryan

    If you’re saying that you either reject the bible or reject evolution, you’re really no different to the people who said accepting the earth goes round the sun means rejecting the bible.

    The hundreds of millions of Christians who accept evolution are those who realise their choice is to either reconcile their faith with what clear evidence shows to be true, or to abandon their faith completely.

  • Andrew Ryan

    “While you may say that’s randomness of billions of years”

    I’d never say that because natural selection isn’t random. That you still don’t understand that shows you still don’t know one of the most basic ideas about evolution.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    No, I’m merely saying that you can either believe that humans have free will or that we don’t, and there can’t really be any in between. When I say you define “Free will” as “Not free will” I am not saying that you are saying they are the same phrase with the same meaning, I am saying that you are looking at free will and claiming that it isn’t free will.

    I am asserting that with choice comes free will, and vice versa.

    The problem is that natural selection is NOT evolution, nor vice versa. You can’t just hear me say “I don’t believe in macro-evolution.” and then claim that I don’t believe in natural selection just because you yourself choose to label them as the same thing even though they are different parts of the overlapping theory. If you want to just lump everything that has to do with evolution into the ‘theory of evolution’ then I would obviously agree with some parts of it, but not the main point that scientists are trying to cover up with enough facts to make it seem credible.

    I believe in natural selection and micro-evolution. I do not believe in macro-evolution.

    The thing about logic is that it can’t be wholly relied upon to define the supernatural. We can’t just use secular based logic to limit or define a supernatural being like God. Anyone who claims that the existence of God is contradictory is either using faulty logic or doesn’t understand the theology in the first place.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Well, granted, if we accept the universe is naturally occurring, then there is no right and wrong. There would be no true morality. However, what Leviticus does is exactly that; it gives us a clear set of moralities.

    Also, Leviticus never encouraged servant beating, in fact it was only there to serve as a method to determine whether the servant owner was punished or not.

    A secular world view would completely allow slave beating of all kinds though. It would allow you to do pretty much anything you wanted, as morality in a naturally occurring world would be nothing but an opinion. Doesn’t matter how much you would like to suggest about evolution forming a ‘sense’ of morality or anything like that, if a morality isn’t transcendent then nothing is inherently right nor wrong. If that was the case then laws would be nothing but fear mongering by threat of punishment.

    How can you claim the Bible is immoral while your beliefs have no sense of morality whatsoever?

  • Josh Wiltshire

    Clear evidence doesn’t show the existence of macro-evolution. The only thing ‘clear’ about it is how much it is based off of pure theorization despite a lack of solid evidence.

    I am not saying that accepting evolution means that you yourself are actively choosing to reject the Bible. I am saying that if you reject any part of the Bible, that whether you like it or not, you are rejecting the whole thing.

    I am no expert on logical fallacies, but I believe you are using am undistributed middle fallacy when claiming that I am doing the same thing as those who claimed the earth revolved around the sun. Just because they made a claim that said theory contradicted the Bible and were wrong, (misinterpreting the Bible in the process) does not mean that just because I reject evolution because it contradicts the Bible means I am automatically wrong.

  • Josh Wiltshire

    I never said the process of natural selection was random. What would mutations be a product of though? Are those predictable like natural selection?

  • sean

    If all free will is is the appearance of choice, then yeah we have that. Your first section here is basically saying that you think I’m wrong. That I’m not seeing what is the truth. It seems a rather odd way to phrase it, if the saying is even needed, but okay. I do know you think I’m wrong.

    More importantly in your first paragraph is this idea that I have to believe one of the two actively, that I cannot just not have a position. As a matter of reality it is true that either there is free will or there is not, and that we either have it or we do not and these have to be one or the other. What I believe about this is different. I do not actively assert that free will cannot exist, just that sufficient evidence that it does has not been presented. That said, I’ve been talking to some of my friends, and they seem reasonably sure that if I look into free will as proposed by a man named Dan Dennett I’ll find there is positive evidence that I’ve been hitherto unaware of. I do plan on investigating this over the next few days, so maybe I’ll change my mind, but right now my position is that I see no reason to accept the claim that we have free will.
    There’s an analogy I like about a gumball machine. When you happen upon it, either the number is odd or the number is even, but by saying you don’t think it is odd, you are not asserting it is evern, you do not think it’s either. This is not to say that you do think it is neither, because you know it’s one of them, but you see no evidence to persuade you to one side until you actually count them. But while they are in the machine, you are agnostic about it, and you do not believe the number of gumballs is odd, and if your friend just looks at it and asserts they are odd, you will think he is unjustified in his claim, even though he has a 50/50 shot at being right. Similarly, I see that you are the friend who hasn’t actually go any evidence to assert that the machine has an odd number. You could be right in that we have free will, but your position as I see it, is unjustified, and I’ll refrain from believing in free will.

    Okay, so you are okay with evolution as a general concept, just not as it apples to macro-evolution, like homo sapiens evolving from something else. What I would like to know is what exactly you are denying in macro-evolution. Are you just denying that it’s happened, but you think it could theoretically happen, just that it hasn’t, or do you think that it has not happened because it cannot happen? Just trying to better understand where you are coming from.

    “The thing about logic is that it can’t be wholly relied upon to define the supernatural.”

    Are you saying God does not succumb to logic? Then of course it’s logically impossible. You are just also asserting that whether or not it’s logically possible is a different question from whether or not it’s possible, which to some extent is fine, but then if he doesn’t succumb to logical axioms like the law of non-contradiction, how do you know he exists, as that’s just as good as he doesn’t exist with out that law, at least as far as I am aware, but maybe I’m looking at it wrong.

  • Andrew Ryan

    “I never said the process of natural selection was random. ”

    You said: “While you may say “Well, that’s just because of randomness for billions of years.””

    If you weren’t referring to natural selection, but instead referring to simply ‘mutation’ then it was a complete non sequitur.

  • Brenda Fluitt

    The comments are interesting to say the least. I would have to weigh in on is it morally right to judge anybody. It is a normal response of humans to have a bias against what is not normal for them. That in and of itself does not make it wrong, only different. I work with the terminally ill and their families, I can no way imagine denying that person or family my help because of the color of their skin, who they are married to, gender, or sexual orientation. Having said this, I realize it is only my opinion, everybody has one, right or wrong!!

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