2018: Easter!

He is risen!

Also, Jim is back after his “final comment.” I suppose, he’ll have an ultimate comment, as well as a closing comment, a finishing comment, ect. Who would have guessed? Oh well, as I said in my last post, I have prepared a response to the first coupled final comments. I wanted to keep this reply for today as it touches upon the holiday. (see The Wild Turkey for further explanation.)

Dear Jim,

Well, seems I’ve finally goaded you into supporting your argument. The tact you’ve employed, however, understates the problem, but let’s focus on the minute before moving onto the big picture.

Your points:

1. In the Old Testament God commands the destruction of certain tribes—man, woman, children, and even the livestock;

2.a. This is obviously evil;

2.b. This is so evil I refuse to listen to apologetics refuting my argument.

Conclusion: The Bible is self-contradictory as it calls God good.

Corollary: The church is evil.

Let me address your statement, the one on which point 2.b. is based, “But hey. Excuses cover that.” This implies the opposite, that no excuse can cover point 1. Have we come to this, that you may dictate beforehand the weight of my argument? We won’t get very far if you refuse to listen to what I have to say. If you simply want to shout at a Christian, I suggest you obtain a lifelike manikin with which to play out your fantasies within the privacy of your own home. If we’re willing to put aside point 2.b., and actually talk with each other, I think we can progress.

Upon your previous arguments regarding morality point 2.a. fails. If morality is as you say rooted in culture and biology, if it has no objective merit, if it is not a standard, then the Israelites were simply following their own biology and culture. If, however, we can objectively say that their actions were evil, then we need to understand what we’re saying. We’re talking about judgment that transcends time and space, the definition of God.

But despite your incoherent stance, no, it was not evil. The Bible, which you claim to know, gives its own defense, listing the reason for this command[1]: On one level, these people deserved this punishment, and on the other, the Israelites are warned that these people will turn them away from God, will make the Israelites abominable by enticing them into pagan sin. First, consider the symbolic nature of this: you keep using phrases like, “I can observe the natural world,” well nature affirms the principle that one thing must die to make way for another. This principle governs plants, animals, and even ideas, as better arguments replace weaker.

So, this principle of nature is dramatized in the Bible, as God, the idealized good, chooses a medium by which He’ll reveal Himself to the world, the Israelites, who then must root out and destroy the evil. Admittedly, the symbolic nature of the story pales when considering that we’re not talking about ideas, plants, or animals, but human lives. To get a clearer view, we must first step out of this example, and look at the broad picture: In the circumstance(s) we are considering, all the people condemned by God were already doomed to die.

My point: in this instance, the Bible records God commanding the Israelites to kill, but going further, we see all deaths are in a sense under His management, His responsibility. This is what I meant when I said you understated the problem. Not just these deaths, but every death is known by God, and could have conceivably been stopped by God. This, however, does not equate to God being immoral. The problem with classifying as evil God’s command to annihilate is that such a statement is nonsense, for all life comes from Him, and therefore can be required by Him. The reason I don’t think it is immoral of God to take a life is because every life is His to take.

Now, with Easter so close, I’d be remise not to address the other side of this equation. I feel I have clearly expounded upon, let’s call it, the intellectual argument, but understand the need for an explanation that goes a step further, that speaking past facts and logic, moves into the realm of the heart. If you’re uninterested in my scribbling beyond the point of apologetics, I’d suggest you get off here; we are heading into a new direction.

Looking out unto nature, death and obsolescence are guaranteed. Our brains equip us with a self-sense of inherent dignity, but the world harshly enlightens us to her nature. Poverty and disease are common, suffering is universal, and even the best of us is maturing maggot feed. But there is this solution, one confirming that childish notion we had, that despite all the pain and suffering of the world, there is something worthwhile, some meaning beyond the endless cycles, the crushing gears of existence themselves crushed by a greater power.

This hope is Jesus, His assurance His resurrection. Whatever your grief with me, the church, or Christianity, He will hear your prayers, and though you were dead, yet you may live.

Sincerely,
Dr. Agonson

P.S

Have a great Easter.

P.P.S

I didn’t have time to put together anything as thorough as this: https://www.bethinking.org/bible/old-testament-mass-killings

It goes far deeper into the arguments than what I have herein written.

tizeevcmbb.jpg

[1] Deuteronomy 20:17-18

 

Advertisements

10 Comments

  1. Not sure why comments are on two threads, so here’s a past off the other. You act as though we, or I specifically have not given apologetics a chance. I am quite certain 20 years exploring every angle was enough to get the picture. All it amounts to is cleverly worded arguments designed to disguise the inadequacy of the doctrine. The ambiguity of the answers. Ultimately a giant excuse for the fallacies and contradictions of gospel and scripture. Everything you’ve stated has been beaten to death by you and many before you. I was so into it that I couldn’t see out, that my entire myopia of the church had taken me away from even the most basic common senses. One day of soul searching, admitting that maybe I was wrong, and tried to be fair and see things the way some others had done. In an instant it was gone, and when you look with integrity of self, you will have a decision to make too. Follow your true belief, or be a follower. The fact that you are here, along with your two readers tells me you’ve got doubts. That the reason people get in to apologetics. I know this. Doubt and self validation. If you can convince me, you will convince yourself. I know you will most likely just scan through and dismiss this, but I’ve no dog in this fight. Maybe my words will help free another into a more productive life. Who knows. But that’s why I write. To be is to live Life unshackled and freely Unchain human thought- You are enslaved in your myopic views. Life outside is not what they say. Life is up to you.

    Like

    1. See above comment for textbook case of Bulverism.

      Does person A win the debate when his opponent gives up arguing and simply calls person A’s integrity into question?

      What do you want me to do, Jim? I have argued my position, and you return declaring my opposition as deception. Argument by fiat, I’ve never tried that. I will give it a go: I herein declare that Jim is wrong, is covered in fish scales, and has five heads. That was fun, but hardly useful. Give me reason, and I can dialog; cite your twenty years as unquestionable authority, and all I can do is laugh.

      P.S.
      How many “final comments” should I be expecting from you? About two a week?

      Like

      1. You have as many comments as I do. The integrity part is a deeper conviction than what you feel now. I’m sure you are doing your best. When you have the courage to confront your peers about the unacceptable parts instead of dismissing them with philosophy and hairsplitting interpretation. Right now you concede nothing. You are convinced that we have not point that is wrong? The church is 100% right? Always. Every institution on the planet has been corrupted, Im Sure this we can agree, but Christianity was left untouched. Yeah right. It’s more corrupted than any other institution on the planet. And there’s nothing wrong here? Sheldon. Wake up!

        Like

        1. What part of my argument do you disagree with? Calling me wrong because I don’t have the right feelings? Really man, is that where we have come? Come on Jim, use that brain God gave you: put together a coherent argument, or repent.

          Quote from Perfect Lover: “[Atheists] rarely bring argument or reason to aid their sentiments, but misdirection, ad hominem, and a battery of etiquette perverted to quash open discourse upon the subject of religion.”

          Examples provided by Jim and Co.:—

          Misdirection:
          “[Christianity]’s more corrupted than any other institution on the planet.” –Jim

          Ad Hominem:
          “The integrity part is a deeper conviction than what you feel now. I’m sure you are doing your best. When you have the courage to confront your peers about the unacceptable parts instead of dismissing them with philosophy and hairsplitting interpretation.” –Jim

          Battery of Etiquette:
          “In case of someone [Jim] who for decades tried, and tried, and tried harder, and believed, and hoped, and only ever sought the fault within himself for not trying hard enough… it’s a bit like adding insult to injury. Scratch that, it’s a lot like it.” –Shiarrael

          Thanks for proving my point!

          Like

          1. Nice try. You Christian colors are popping out. And you expect me buy this? You are funny how you make assertions and misinterpret and pretend to be offended. You really have no idea about me. You said initially you couldn’t tell which side I was on. I do not take sides. You don’t understand the point, I’m not doing it for points. I am certain this will be academically and structurally challenged by your staff, and critiqued by you for grammar way before content. And you still won’t know who I am.

            Like

              1. Thank you for inspiring my next post. “Apologetics budding superstar Sheldon Agonson, has taken my statements and has converted to mainstream apologetics. Or, at least he has decided hell is not so bad after all. I am not angry with his twisting and lying and misplacing my words to analyze them out of context. I am sorry for his soul, as he, like so many before him have proven that lying and twisting is the best convincing argument for Jesus. I know, I was warned to stay away, and you were all correct in your advisories. But I’m happy to have another brother in hell to look over to Lazarus and Abraham, across that gulf of misery and lament eternity with me. Hell is for the heathen, but the servants in hell will be the liars. The only reason he would lie the way he has, is he knows there is no hell, and his need for dominating validation has trumped his knowledge. He continues to play from apologetics 101, and baiting accusations to attract endless replies to pad the stats bar for his two readers.This is either intentional, his reading comprehension is elementary, or English is his second language. I’m willing to give a pass if needed. Sheldon, in one post you have done what most apologist do in three. You have tagged atheism in your post. Gleefully stating you were happy to have someone call you out on your babbling accusations about atheist laziness to argue with you. Cherry picked points and ignored convincing arguments on morality. Sheldon, you keep saying you want an answer. The answers were given in the first paragraph. You may not like my writing style, but the answer you seek was given plainly. And lastly, you keep directing the comments to your site. Control is key for apologists. Editing and keeping control of the dialog on your turf, isn’t smart. It’s weak. You know damn well your comments would get eaten alive by our readers, and you hid in the confines of control. Hope you’re better than that with your family, but alas… that is the Christian male working in you”. Good luck getting any of us to visit you again. You lie. That’s bad. I think the buybull warns against that.

                Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s