Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Are christians capable of taking correction?

     Rhomphaia falsely accused me of using a sock-puppet account. I called her on it. And she insisted that her accusation is true because she is tracking IP numbers. Well, she might be tracking IP numbers. But if she is, she saw two different ones. I know this because I am not the JC Birthner she claims is also me. But there is the question of why she is doing this. My gut feeling is that she is trying to provoke an emotional reaction.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One claim that christians like to make

     One claim that christians like to make is that "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is lord." Of course, this is patent nonsense unless they think that the people involved will be operated like puppets on a string. They have already announced that, in such an event, it would be too late and that no mercy would be shown.
     Think about it for a moment. The only reason that anyone would bow or confess in such a situation is if he were hoping that it would improve his position with a revealed ruler who was quite clearly corrupt. But with such an incentive removed, there is no reason that anyone who disbelieved in this life would cooperate. It makes it that much easier to perform THE LAST GREAT ACT OF DEFIANCE.
     Now, I don't think that the christian god is real. I do know that, if he is real, he is wicked. But, if there is a god, it is probably not the christian variety. The god described in the bible likes to step in, toot his horn, and ruin people's lives. And, quite frankly, I haven't seen very much of that.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Fairness Doctrine or conservatives have the money

     Rhomphaia recently posted about her views on the Fairness Doctrine (she's against it) and she claimed that liberals had all the money and the Fairness Doctrine was a tactic to make sure that only liberal views were heard. No, I don't think it passes the laugh test. The Fairness Doctrine simply states that equal time must be given to the opposition. Listen up, conservatives. If you think that the media are as strongly liberal as you claim, then you should be in favor of the Fairness Doctrine; it would mean those stations would have to give equal time to the likes of you.
     Of course, in reality, conservatives know that their views are being financed by big money and they want to keep their opponents quiet. Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, and their copycats can be heard coast-to-coast around the nation because big money buys them airtime and pays their salaries. When there ever is a liberal radio broadcast, it's on a station with a shoestring budget with a range of maybe two miles and the speaker is unpaid. Conservatives will say that the won the battle of ideas. But they didn't. They won the battle of money. Now, maybe they would win the battle of ideas and maybe they wouldn't. But they don't want to take a chance.
     Conservatives are not worried that they will be silenced. They know full well that that is not going to happen. They are worried, however, that their opponents will be unsilenced. They want to keep discussions one-sided. It's hard to make the claim that liberals want to put everyone in 14-hour-a-day forced labor camps if the liberals have the opportunity to present their own position.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The nature of christianity

     Many people will say that christianity is about love and redemption. Some people actually believe it. The ones who believe it do not understand how the bible advocates treating outsiders. The concepts of love, mercy, justice, kindness, etc. are only a mask. The mask is to be used for two purposes. It is used to draw in unsuspecting outsiders. And it is also to be used when christians are relatively powerless within a society so that they aren't dealt with as the threat they truly are. Now, I realize that there are people that consider themselves christian that truly pursue love, peace, etc. They are simply not following the bible as a whole. They are only using the pleasant passages. And, in fairness, they are no threat.
     No, people like Norman represent the true face of christianity. Thwy cannot wear the mask well. They cannot hide their hatred and utter contempt for anyone who is not a christian. Ray Comfort wears his mask well. Sometimes he slips and you can see past it. But if you are not cautious in advance, he is likely to take you in and, at least, give a false impression of what christianity is all about. Not so with Norman. The best that comes from him is a half-hearted acknowledgement that a non-christian is even human. He doesn't address or even refer to non-christians without some perverse distortion. He can't even use their correct names. Now, you might think that was somehow un-christian. But you would be wrong. No christian has called him on the behavior. Even Ray Comfort, who says he insists on civility on his blog, lets that through with no problem.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It seems some christians are confused

     Now, now, I will have none of that. The mere fact of disagreement does not entail confusion. It is not reasonable to say that all christians are confused.
     Now, as I was saying -- some christians are confused. They will take a statement about the literary character of the biblical god and assume that you must believe that god to be real. Look, I can make statements about Ebeneezer Scrooge, that he was a greedy miser, and it does not imply that I believe he really existed. There is a description in the pages of a book. I am apt to talk about the christian god in the same sense. It does not mean in any sense that I believe him to be real. It means I am going by the description in the pages of a book. Why is this so hard for some christians to understand?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Excuses for god

     Norman has made a recent post about how when he was twelve (last week) he used to think Black Sabbath was a christian band because of the lyrics of some of their songs. (I am not personally familiar with their work. I preferred "old blue eyes" or Paul and Art.) When other songs contradicted that perspective, he sought to make excuses for them.
     This reminded me of the way christians make excuses for their god. They like to say that their god is "all-good." But when presented with the fact that the world we live in suggests a disinterested overseer at best and that their own holy book attributes actions and commands that they would call evil if done by anyone else, they make excuses. I have heard things like "morally sufficient reason" and "his thoughts are not our thoughts." They wouldn't accept such excuses for other proposed gods. The time for making excuses for the christian god is long since gone. Face the reality. If he exists, he is not good.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Does Jesus comman his followers to lie and kill?

     I posed this question to Rhomphaia ( in a way that will secure her honest appraisal. If she deletes the comment, or any others of mine, it will indicate that she agrees that that is what followers of Jesus do. If she does not, then she does not agree that that is what followers of Jesus do. Norman (aka cowboybob, soldierforjesus, stormbringer, etc., etc.) already agrees with that because that's what he does. But then, we already knew that from the "soldier" moniker. What does a soldier do? He kills people he perceives as the "enemy."
     As we all know, christians will say that theirs is a religion of peace. Of course muslims say that about their religion too. But the fact is that christians only act peaceful because thay have been disempowered. When they had control, we had inquisitions, witch trials, burning of heretics. Good grief, Rhomphaia has no such power and wanted to trick me into eating a laxitive-laced cake. Can anyone really question that she would be deadly to non-christians if she could do so safely?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Norman's comments on "rational discussion"

     Here, Norman boasts that he gave "internet atheists" a lesson in logic on Twitter. Now, I haven't seen him on Twitter because I don't use the service. But I would expect that, if he had the capacity for coherent thought, he would demonstrate it in one of the places I have seen him.
     "Even though it is clear to anyone without a seriously diseased mind that they were wrong, they still insisted that they were right, and I was wrong."
     Well, Norman is really not all that persuasive, at least to those who focus on the logic (or lack of same) in his arguments. I have never seen someone go from undecided to agreeing with Norman on the basis of his argument. But, if you look closely, you can see that he starts by "poisoning the well." He is claiming that anyone who doesn't agree with him has "a seriously diseased mind."
     "My intelligent readers who have read the article know full well that I said no such thing. A comment was left making reference to the book of Psalms, but no claim of 'proof' was made."
     You want to know what I find interesting about this? He doesn't give a screen shot of his own comment. Oh, but look, they're timestamped. He can't make a fresh one because the timestamp will out him. Presumably, he doesn't give a screen shot of his own comment because it won't help him.
     "By the way, I've noticed that his hating friends are not interested in logic enough to check the source (my posts) and see that he is making things up. Other have posted distortions and mockeries of what I said, deliberately misunderstanding for the sake of ridiculing God — but I don't have time or the interest to show more of the same."
     Well, from what I see -- which, of course, is only what Norman allows to be shown; very few people outside of high school are in a position to check Twitter to verify; I certainly am not inspired to set up an account to verify the rantings of someone I know lies -- they are mocking Norman, not any god. But it is quite possible that he thinks that highly of himself. Now, I'm not impressed with ridicule. At best, it is a sign of frustration when dealing with an individual who just will not listen -- actually quite likely with Norman. But the fact that you can mock somebody does not mean that you can argue against him.
     "And oh, boy! When you catch them in a lie or show the errors in what passes as 'reasoning' in their corrupted brains, you are called a liar, stupid, 'fundie' and everything else except 'correct.'"
     Well, in Norman's case, it's probably because he has a habit of lying and is seen by a lot of people as stupid. Quite often, his "proof" that a non-christian is wrong consists of quoting a bible verse that agrees with him. So, no, I wouldn't be very inclined to call him "correct." It's pretty much the standard disclaimer "Any similarity between the claims of 'Norman' and actual events current or historic is entirely coincidental."

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Norman has made another post

     In case anyone is interested, the post is here. Part of it is him talking about his exploits on Twitter, a messaging service, as I understand it, for the teenage crowd -- although I do hear that it has users up to the "ripe-old age" of 25. Ah, yes, the "I'm gonna block you coz you don' agree wit' evertin' I say!!!" Oh, well, at least they're equally matched on the maturity spectrum.
     "Remember, I said that I knew of atheists who became Christians and defenders of the faith. I did not say that I knew of them on Ray Comfort's Weblog."
     That would have been a useful objection to requests for examples from Ray's blog if he were willing to provide examples from elsewhere. But he didn't do that. Surely the man of a thousand screen handles doesn't object to being asked for an example, just the restriction to Ray's blog? (No, Norman, while you have many screen handles, I don't think they number a thousand. But, then, I don't think the "man of a thousand faces" could actually construct that many different faces. Don't worry if you don't know about him. He was actually a little before my time. When I was young, movies already had sound.)
     "Cap also stated, 'Well how about because your entire argument was based upon the idea that these people exist. Now you are saying that you don't actually know if any of these people exist, which invalidates your entire argument.' He had some other stuff that was not worth quoting."
     "At the conclusion of my reply to this (I mentioned the first example of bad logic, shown above), I stated, 'In both your case and his, putting words in my mouth, then saying that my argument is invalid, is, frankly, a lie. Where do people like you learn logic?'"
     Well... Let's look at what's not in dispute. Norman says there are people who were atheist but who now are not only christians but "defenders of the faith." He doesn't give any examples. Captain Howdy may have made an honest mistake or a dishonest restriction. But either way he is right in that Norman claimed atheists-turned-christian exist and failed to produce any examples, instead resorting to insult. In checking the relevant thread, I can't find anyplace where he specifically objects to the restriction of the discussion to Ray's blog. He talks about "putting words in [his] mouth." But that is just as easily interpreted as trying to back away from his original claim. It's rather strange that he only becomes clear in his objection on his own blog where he can delete responses that don't fit his portrayal of "atheism."
     "If I'm wrong about something, fine. But don't lie about others to build up your own fragile ego."
     Awww, Norman doesn't like his tactics turned against him. Meh, I've met a lot of people like that.


     "But first, I'll mention that the atheists in both of yesterday's examples refuse to admit error. That happens frequently, probably because they hate [c]hristians so much, we cannot be allowed to be right, and God forbid (heh!), they cannot be wrong."
     I don't know about atheists. But Norman, who is decidedly christian, seems utterly incapable of admitting error. I don't think I've seen him admit to making a mistake anywhere, ever. Here's a challenge, find an example of Norman admitting to making a mistake.
     "It's against the atheist code for [a christian] to be right, you betcha."
     Norman seems a bit confused here. My experience with christians -- the ones who advertise the fact, at any rate -- is that they don't produce any evidence in favor of their position. Telling me I have to believe the bible is not evidence. The accuracy of the bible is in dispute. Saying there is "a morally justifiable reason" for (described) actions found in the bible is of no use unless you produce such a reason. As near as I can tell, they refuse to present any evidence for any position on principle, possibly because that would give evidence a value greater than "the word of god."
     Now, unlike Norman, I will admit I am wrong when the evidence shows that to be the case. Here I admitted that some comments really were getting tagged as spam because I saw it with my own eyes. I still don't think it happens with the regularity that Dan was claiming; and the comments that were disappearing from Dan's blog were only the one's against his position. It would be a rather amazing coincidence for Dan's innocence on the matter to be genuine. And here I admitted I was wrong about Norman (this was before he came up with that moniker) deliberately sending me spam comments to flood my blog. I had to admit that because I found that the spammers had been attacking blogs longer than Norman has had an account. Naturally, I found this evidence without Norman's assistance. He kept true to the "no displays of evidence" principle. So, since I can admit when I'm wrong, why can't Norman?