User Profile: HappyStretchedThin


Member Since: January 09, 2011

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  • April 10, 2014 at 10:52am

    Rose Tennant!

  • March 11, 2014 at 8:36pm

    As someone who can obviously string together and support a coherent argument, your reading of Ranger’s words is remarkably lopsided at best and even seems to purposely miss the entire point about “agenda science”.
    Ranger was NOT making any claim about scientists collaborating on some vast conspiracy to discredit religion, which, as you point out, would be ridiculous. (Even if it WERE true, it’s hard to imagine such discipline of keeping the conspiracy a secret from the millions of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other “theist” scientists out there.) You’ve just bounced on your own rules of logic with a rather silly straw man.
    You’re going to need a little precision when dealing logically with Christians, especially Christian scientists, who criticize evolutionary theory so you don’t end up “looking foolish” by aiming at the wrong target. No Christian denies that species adapt and evolve over time. The FACTS surrounding evolution are NOT in question by any informed Christian (please go ahead and attack the willfully ignorant ones all you want, I’ll join you). It’s the LONG leap-of-faith speculative CONCLUSION some scientists have deduced as the ONLY possible explanation for the ORIGIN of species that Christians question. And rightly so, since it’s far from settled.
    There are PLENTY of other examples of lines of scientific inquiry that proceed via ideology, not via hypothesis testing, and are also therefore suspect.

  • March 11, 2014 at 11:47am

    Zipit is correctly calling out a backhanded insult to the intelligence of the millions of well-educated, perfectly reasonable and logical human beings who just happen to also be Christian. Th term “enlightened” contains a needless value judgment. Tyson therefore made an “unfounded derogatory comment” and deserves to be called out on it.
    On the other hand, Zipit is also a total hypocrite–and I’m sorry, but it’s simply the most accurate neutral description of what Zipit accomplished in that short post. Even if s/he can feel understandably insulted by the insult Tyson obviously and objectively intended, there’s no excuse for name-calling in kind. Unless Zipit has not yet attained the age of about 8. Thanks for calling him/her out on it.

  • March 11, 2014 at 11:27am

    Thanks for the well-stated and well-timed addition of context into this discussion. The book has a purpose, it’s stated within, and interpretation counter to its purpose, from a position inside or outside of belief in its truth, constitutes abuse of the text.
    It’s an interesting discussion, though. You’re quite right that science makes no claim to determining the MEANING of phenomena, just accurately describing them. Purpose is the purview of metaphysics, not physics. And yet, a little paradoxically maybe, the very core of the curiosity driving all scientists, believing or not, is in fact the question of what it all means, and what it’s all for. Even in atheist productions such as Cosmos, the discoveries they survey are all couched in the context of an attempt to understand humanity’s “place” in the universe.
    Religion attempts to offer some answers to the fundamental questions, and as such DOES make predictions about nature and humanity’s place in it–and with a spectacularly successful rate of success! For example, it predicts that moral behavior will produce stable and growing societies. Yes, it makes the companion claim that the morality is universal and derives from a deity, but that’s a separate prediction that it takes faith to verify. The other should be indisputable by any honest atheist.

  • March 11, 2014 at 11:05am

    I agree. You are confused. If the Bible were as transparent as you claim, you’d have a hard time explaining away the myriad sects of Christianity each passionately defending an interpretation that mutually excludes that of other sects. The “different manifestations of the Spirit” argument doesn’t fly, because I’ve read Ephesians where we learn that the purpose of the Church is to come to a UNITY of faith.
    As for the general thread, I find MOT a refreshingly head-on atheist who’s not so wrapped up in his own faith that he can’t see positives to organized religion.
    Part of the problem with the Tyson’s of the world is that they cynically and consciously use their broad brushes to paint people into false corners in an attempt to demean rather than to curiously seek out truth and understanding of differing viewpoints. When your opening move is to claim the other side has no valid arguments, it’s more likely YOU’RE the one with the fallacious logic.
    My other issue with Tyson is one too many other atheists are guilty of: coming at Bible-readers sideways. The Bible makes no claim to the objective truth values he claims it does, so he’s invalidating a straw man. It’s a narrative with a context and various interpretations, all of which must be subjected to what light current knowledge can shed on them.
    Besides, Tyson is alienating a lot of non-physical sciences: psychologists, sociologists, political scientist have all found new truths from the Bible.

  • February 21, 2014 at 3:46pm

    No nerve. You just finally made a specific charge. Takes text to rebuild the broken context you ignore systematically.
    MA, but also PA, and RI don’t forget (others?). But again a misread of fundamentals: not protection for govt from faith, just of faith from govt. Otherwise we’d be France. And the principle fully allows for a free self-determination, not an absolute freedom from religion. Point is, your example makes my point, not yours. Thx.
    On smart Christians, let me get this straight: I’ve cornered you into admitting smart Christians do exist, but now it’s just an inability to stay logically consistent you accuse them of? Isn’t that kinda still calling them dumb? Seems pretty plain that you’re the inconsistent one here arguing all kinds of non-sequiturs and distinctions without difference (your a deist, but make an atheistic argument, but protest that it’s actually anti-theist when I call you on it–well spun, spinmeister).
    Truth is, you don’t understand the God you attack (or you’d have your answer to whether the change in commandments was theologically/intellectually consistent already), because you’ve refused delivery before opening the package on every gift He’s sent you since deciding to entertain your assumption of doubt.
    Truth is, no Christian was ever non-defensively violent without violating his own Christian principles, even when excused by a pope.

  • February 21, 2014 at 12:19am

    Finally, it IS nice to see a concrete example from you. And on the surface it DOES appear to be a whopper. But it begs the question: If the Christian God is so horribly immoral that He would command execution for mere adultery, why is it you don’t see ANY of the believers in the Christian God condoning honor killings nowadays? Why is it you have to stretch back 3000+ years for your “whopper” when it so clearly has no application in recent memory? Are you possibly attempting to hide the reasons WHY this law isn’t applicable to us?
    I think so, because to admit that Christians ALSO find this doctrine abhorrent and immoral on its face destroys your baseless house of cards that claims Christians are evil at heart and worship an evil God.
    We Christians, however, have two ways to explain this, one of which is only satisfactory to fellow believers in an immortal soul which can do no more damage to its eternal progress when removed from the mortal burden of moral agency. But the other should be easy, even for a malliterate like yourself: we understand the concept of context! Even if sentences for crimes evolve over time in parallel with surrounding cultures, the principles of living sexually pure lives does not. If you can allow the logic in the death penalty for lifetaking, then the fact that past cultures could have had a different threshold of crime punishable by death isn’t foreign to you on principle.

  • February 20, 2014 at 11:49pm

    Furthermore, your superficial reading of the broad strokes of history as fundamentally progressing despite SOME of the INSTITUTIONS of religion’s efforts to suppress them stands mostly correct, but doesn’t touch the core PRINCIPLES of those selfsame religions, which is what I’m affirming. Your inability to square up to the challenge speaks to the weakness of your position.
    Secular politics as a principle of progress had no leg to stand on until the American experiment which, can even you deny it?, grew out of a RELIGIOUS need to provide a space of neutrality for religions to practice freedom of conscience without intervention by the state. Scientific advances were made by monks, priests, and Renaissance men versed in and believing on the Bible and its Christian God who were curious enough to attempt to confirm truths via experimentation precisely because the Bible taught them to be industriously curious and explore the nature of things. I mentioned Diderot and Voltaire because they were the fathers of France’s secular Revolution, but even they accepted the value in the works of a Pascal or a Descartes. You on the other hand seem bound and determined to deny any benefit whatsoever to the obvious connection between believing in a God who teaches cause-effect logic in His book, and cause-effect-based logical behavior on the part of His followers.

  • February 20, 2014 at 11:20pm

    Your tailspin is becoming really quite amusing.
    “Since you have failed to provide your definition of malliteracy…”
    (oops, scroll up, malliterate one, to my comment of the 19th at 9:53PM where I first brought up the term and then defined it on the spot with you as the example)

    “Notice I didn’t say ‘…not to see how ANY reasonable person could believe the Bible was the Word of God’ ”
    (oops, malliterate one, if you believe it’s the Word of God, you kinda also think the ultimate author was, you know, GOD, like a superior and competent being that you also believe in. Just admit you hold people much smarter and more qualified than yourself on any matter to be contemptible morons because they believe in the Christian God, and that it’s a hubristic hypocritical personal failing on your part to do so because it’s intellectually dishonest.)

    “Secular politics and scientific culture didn’t grow OUT OF religious principles…”
    (oops, malliterate one, when you put down your silly straw man assumptions that all organized religions are a priori anti-scientific, you’ll notice that even Voltaire, Diderot and the other most vociferous critics of organized religion weren’t critiquing the goodness in the doctrines Christianity taught at its core, but the abuses and distortions which some, even some within the Church of the day, submitted the core to. Any truth, scientific or otherwise, is perfectly compatible with Christianity, and upheld by Christians.)

  • February 20, 2014 at 11:03pm

    Name me a single 2000+ year old document that you find perfectly clear and easy to understand. In fact, my guess is that most people without training in the culture and context of the times has difficulties dealing with Shakespeare, or even the Federalist Papers. But that just makes the phenomenon logically understandable and doesn’t address why God would allow it. God allows it because this mortal existence is supposed to be a test for us, and although we do need instructions and parameters, if they were all 100% transparent and ubiquitous, it wouldn’t be by own own effort of experimenting on the Word and coming to a knowledge, for ourselves, of the blessings that living it brings, that we would grow. The only way to ensure people are choosing the right is if they are free to choose in an environment where the choice is real (i.e. real error exists alongside real truth). Since it takes faith to act on the truth in the presence of temptation, when people DO choose the right, the growth in ability to stand up against further temptation, and the growth in faith, are truly their own, and only then is God’s purpose met.
    It’s not all that mysterious once you stop coming at it sideways with all kinds of assumptions, and actually allow yourself to think it through from the inside just a little.

  • February 20, 2014 at 5:42pm

    @ Protag.
    “You claim that I don’t see…”
    See what I mean by malliteracy now? That was a direct quote from YOU. You DIRECTLY claimed not to see how ANY reasonable person could believe the Bible was the Word of God. I didn’t twist your belief in the slightest, and refute it on perfectly logical grounds. And besides failure to demonstrate a single specific instance of irrationality of or immorality in belief in the Christian God, after DIRECTLY challenged to do so, you have a mountain of OTHER evidence to account for before your claim can stick. To whit, what do you do with the millions of Bible-believing Christians who ALSO happen to be empirical materialist scientists? Are they also fools (in comparison to you, intrepid religion skeptic who through the vast power of your own intellect and the ownership of a shelf full of notable theologians has overcome the insipid mantra-fostered cancer of faith growing in you from your impressionable youth)? Faith doesn’t and never has come from mantras, or blind obedience, or even brainwashing. It comes from designing tests and finding out what blessings arrive when you’ve acted as if a Gospel principle is true. Your framing of human progress as exclusively possible in opposition to religious values misses the humongous whopper that the advances in secular politics and scientific culture mainly grew OUT of religious principles and values. Far from repudiating it, I affirm it, and still avoid your blind denial of the good of f

  • February 20, 2014 at 5:22pm

    You didn’t label it, but I’ll assume you find that one absurd and proceed from there.
    So what’s more absurd: a prophet asking his people to maintain integrity of breed within their flocks as a general principle, or a modern rancher keeping extensive genealogical paperwork on his thorough bred horse’s provenance? God wasn’t asking the Hebrews to police the sex of their animals so much as he was charging them to take care of their animals. (Also it’s not explicit if he meant herefords with jerseys or sheep with goats–one kind of mixing probably ok).
    On mixed seeds, what sense would it make for a farmer to mix seed first, then sow? The yields of most kinds of mixing would cannibalize each other. The absurd thing would be the opposite. It also increases the level of honesty at sale time to be able to rightly claim a product’s integrity, no? This is a perfectly logical injunction against a kind of fraud non-Hebrews practiced at the time.
    On fabrics, I’m not a textiles expert, but even I know that one comes from an animal, one from a plant. the Hebrews’ idolatrous neighbors made a big deal of mixing these to symbolize fertility supertitions, so that the Hebrew injunction against mixing can be read as a logical measure of marking difference of belief to protect those that proceed on cause-effect logic rather than capricious intervention logic. Or try alternates here:
    Fair enough?

  • February 20, 2014 at 10:26am

    @Caveman: > Their Christian doctrine DOES claim revelation continues. Other sects disagree, but have perfectly reasonable explanations for why the canon is closed. You’re the ignorant one.
    @Protag: People frequently claiming you’re taking them out of context should be a clue for you to examine yourself, not double-down on the ignorance and twisting. Also, citing someone famous on an inane point may show you’re well read, but not that your argue effectively. You condemn the Bible with a list of judgmental twistings of what it is/says/does but offer no examples or reason to back up your claims. You wouldn’t make it out of my beginning composition courses with that kind of argumentation.
    But here’s the real kicker: “I don’t see how any reasonable person could believe that the bible could have been composed by a competent being, much less a superior one”. You are right about that: you DON’T see. Only when you can engage a reasonable person who DOES believe, re-stating their own beliefs without distortion until they admit you DO understand it will you have passed the necessary preliminary step of understanding before you can move on to refutation. You’re all in a huff about straw men until that point.
    Pick one!
    For every contradiction, absurdity, atrocity, inconsistency, immorality, inhumanity, ignorance, etc. I’ll show you its logic, reality, generosity, morality, humanity, and truth. Go!

  • February 20, 2014 at 7:33am

    Sigh. So many fools to suffer on threads like this.
    @Puravida: When you are able to state the Christian position without distortion enough that Christians themselves would agree that you’ve got their position correct, then and only then will you have the standing to provide a logically valid critique.
    Until then, know that we have an awkward mixture of empathy for you that you are embarrassing yourself in public with your own blind ignorance, and pity for you that you may be endangering your own soul despite yourself. I doubt anyone else is fooled.
    The very NAME of Christ signifies a volunteer anointed beforehand. The very FACT that Old Testament Prophets testified of His death and the need for an atonement for sin (by the way, Original Sin is not what you characterize it either) signifies the volunteering happened way before Pilate (not Caesar, silly) or Caiaphus. The IDEA that He had all the powers of godhood, and yet didn’t prevent His own death or suffering at the hands of Romans and His own people, which idea is indissociable from a belief in Him as Savior, signifies the inescapably voluntary nature of His Sacrifice.
    But I need not go on. You’ll be impervious to example and reason on this subject until you give up the silly notion that your bitterness of heart toward religion somehow makes you smarter than God himself. A little humility and honesty, and He can even save You too! ;-)

  • February 19, 2014 at 11:15pm

    Your obvious randian biases aside, you’d be living in a pretty cold world if you didn’t admit the possibility that a belief in a higher power of some kind is a perfectly logical assumption, with the evidence just as fully supporting it as its opposite assumption. Faith, on the other hand, does not equal emotion, never has. But then, I wouldn’t expect someone like you to understand the concept, much less give it a fair shake.

  • February 19, 2014 at 10:08pm

    Hi Monk! Sorry for my long absences. They’re bound to continue, sadly…
    This is probably the only kind of situation I’m actually FOR the separate but equal doctrine: yeah, you’re right they should both be serving 7 minimum (more if you ask me), but in any case, for the love of an as yet unconceived child, please do NOT let those two have conjugal visits.

  • February 19, 2014 at 9:53pm

    Time to dust off the term I coined for people like you: malliterate. Oh, you are capable of reading, just incapable of reading/arguing (practically anything on the subject) correctly and in context.
    All your books only show to what depths of ignorance your faulty premises have led you DESPITE such excellent counter-evidence and argument. I doubt you could coherently demonstrate comprehension of the most basic principle taught by any of those great philosophers. You certainly haven’t demonstrated it of the Bible, but rather double-down on a god you “imagine could be”, as if you were the sole arbiter of morality. If you would take a step down from your appalling pridefulness (I don’t have a degree but might as well have one? Pure hubris) and actually verify to someone objective that your personal understanding of the Christian God is in fact what ANY believer believes about His nature, you’d actually begin to learn a little something: Obvious things, like the fact that Christ’s sacrifice was VOLUNTARY, and in no way an example of bloodthirstiness. For someone claiming to be so learned and so experienced on the subject, you’ve sure managed to completely allow THAT little tidbit to go completely over your head.
    But there’s one thing we can agree on: “There is just no way in hell…”. That’s right, because the Christian God is in heaven, silly.
    Just be honest: both your “god that could be” and YOUR version of the Christian God are pure fictions.

  • February 19, 2014 at 8:05pm

    Actually Protag, Goodstuff’s right. Your atheistic misreading of both scripture and Christian history through inane insistence on several false premises is relativistic and puerile. If you can’t clearly distinguish between core Christian teachings and the abuse of those core Christian teachings, you’ll only ever wallow in a baseless and self-serving spiral of ignorance.
    By what colossal effort of willful amnesia can a person able to cite Mahavira be so absolutely blind to the obvious and central tenets of Christianity as to claim they are somehow NOT what the Jain patriarch promotes?
    Are there multiple and conflicting versions of doctrines within Christianity? Of course, but apparently you are the only simpleton unable to understand the basic kindness, charity, patience, virtue, and other positive attributes adherence to any one of them unavoidably produces. But, perhaps you are simply ideologically blind and unable to find any positive benefit to the radically benevolent ideas Christianity promotes–you know–like equality, justice, self-sacrifice, delay of gratification, a strong work ethic, forgiveness, etc.
    Just because some Christians have abused their own belief system and have had theologians willing to excuse them by twisting verses doesn’t make any of their cases stronger. Or perhaps you also think the existence of a single flat tire on the road is a good argument for the entire elimination of society’s reliance on rubber.

  • February 19, 2014 at 7:47pm

    No one’s trying to punish them for their beliefs or for their choice to pray. They’re being punished for their objective ACT of neglecting a child to death. There’s NO religious freedom to kill or injure anyone else. You seem to know very little both about religion and about freedom. No society can long endure when the “freedom” to neglect children to death is a protected “religious” choice. It’s LIFE that deserves protection (which is what God commands, according to the Bible they cite, btw).
    Faith is a a principle of truth, not of superstition. Faith has magnitude and direction. That these people are full of faith is not in question, but since the direction of their faith is so far from the truth, it’s worthless and can’t produce the results it claims.
    True faith in God’s power to heal, requires behaving as if He can act THROUGH medical professionals, requires acting as if that’s one of the tools He can manipulate.
    p.s. Please leave to the Left the language of whether or not someone “feels” like the choice was right or not. Us Right-wingers judge on facts, logic, and rationality, not emotion.

  • January 17, 2014 at 11:25am

    I stand corrected and will be sure to due my due diligence in the original tongue before I offer my exegesis in the future.
    Not sure how that invalidates the other points, about a straw man, though.

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