Thursday, August 9, 2012

Calvinism’s Internal Contradiction, Part 2

On Tuesday, I wrote about what an an apparent contradiction within Calvinism: namely, trying to harmonize “perseverance of the saints,” the view that nobody falls away from the faith, with the Calvinist belief in a Great Apostasy, that the entire Church fell away from the faith.  In response, I’ve seen two attempts to harmonize these two ideas.  Neither of them, in my view, succeeds.

I. Blame the Institution, not the Believers

Mary Solari, The Cardinal (1900)
The first is that perseverance of the saints applies only to individuals, and that it wasn’t the individuals who went bad, but the institution. I see the distinction being drawn here, but I’m not sure I see how it solves the problem. How can the institution fall away without the individuals within the institution falling away? Even if you want to blame everything on Church leadership, the problem remains. Did these individual Church leaders fall away from the faith or not?

Additionally, this view doesn’t seem to address the breadth of Calvin’s criticisms of the Church. Calvin argued that the Mass itself was “a reprobate and diabolical ordinance subverting the mystery of the Holy Supper.” If this is true, it’s not just Church leaders who are to blame, but everyone who participates in the Mass, priests and laity alike. Blaming just Church leadership is a bit of a cop-out. After all, a believing Christan can’t participate in a “a reprobate and diabolical ordinance” just because someone else tells them to, right?

The last problem with this view is that, if it if it’s true, we should have seen immediate schisms from the Church, and we don’t. That is, Calvin claims that at some point in history (he’s necessarily vague as to when, since this isn’t true), the Church went from holding to a Calvinist view of the Lord’s Supper to an evil Catholic view of the Eucharist. If this was simply a case of the Church institution being co-opted by non-Christians, where did the Christians go?

If the Church had been taken over by non-Christians, why didn’t we see immediate schism, or at least some sort of organized resistence? When the Anglican Communion started permitting the ordination of women and practicing homosexuals, there was push-back from the conservative quarters, and even the creation of new denominations, like the Anglican Church in North America. But we see nothing of the sort within the Catholic Church regarding the Eucharist, prior to the Reformation. Even the proto-Reformers, like Jan Hus, believed in impanation, which would is no less idolatrous from a Calvinist perspective.

II. The Believers Didn’t Make Converts

The second attempt to harmonize comes from David Bates, a Catholic trying to give Calvinism the benefit of the doubt. He asks:
Could the Calvinist affirm that those early Christians were elect and did persevere, but then after a while, fake Christians entered the Church? The elect persevered but eventually died, leaving only the fake Christians, who were not part of the elect. This situation then continued for many centuries until the Gospel was "recovered" in the 16th Century. With the Gospel recovered, new elect were born, became Christians and persevered to the end.
This is similar, by the way, to the view that Mormons take. They argue that there were believing Christians, but that they failed to make devout converts, so the Church quickly fell into Apostasy.

But in both cases, the problem is the same. Christ prophesies that just as seed that falls on good soil will produce a thirty-fold, sixty-fold, and even hundred-fold crop, so too will those who hear the word and accept it (Mark 4:20).

So the  view that the Church founded by Jesus Christ produced no crop, no second generation of true Christians, runs directly counter to the promises of Jesus. It requires believing that the good tree bore no fruit, while the evil Catholic tree bore all of the fruit that Jesus had promised to the good tree (see Luke 6:43).

134 comments:

  1. I believe mainline Protestants tend to believe it happened gradually. So as with the Sorites Paradox ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorites_paradox ), there isn't one point when it can be said the Catholic Church suddenly went apostate.

    They would also say that the institution doesn't matter, its the individual, so even if 99% of Catholics went apostate, that 1% (remnant) were the true invisible "church" and that things like skipping mass, going to mass just for the homilies and disbelieving the theology of the Eucharist qualifies you as being a potential part of the true invisible "Church". Modern mainline Protestants would believe that God tolerates some error in doctrine as long as your heart is right so if you point out Augustine's Catholic beliefs, they'd point out that other denominations have some errors in their beliefs but their still Christians and "God will sort it out on the other side".

    The whole defence is incredibly slippery and muddled, so a simple logical argument won't work.

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    1. Certainly this is what Protestants must claim, but I don't know if it really works. Anyone even slightly well read in Church history knows how contentious, even over small matters of doctrine, the early Church was. Is it reasonable to assume there would be no argument at all on the Church drifting slowly into apostasy? If Protestantism was true we'd see all kinds of arguments in the early Church around the Eucharist, the Papacy, Prayers for the Dead, Mary, et cetera with the protestant position being outlined by the remnant. Instead, we see absolute silence. Further, the doctrine that "God tolerates error as long as your heart is in the right place" would itself have to have roots stretching back to Apostolic times - which we don't see. The whole notion of the "invisible church" is also missing. Of course, Protestants must posit an invisible church to explain 1) Christ founding ONE Church which will always endure and 2) the vast array of Protestant denominations. However necessary this theory is to Protestantism, it is neither found in the Early Church nor is it Scriptural. As you said, the whole argument is muddled.

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    2. I agree with you and Anil Wang completely. Most of the Protestant claims are simply missing from the early Church, and exactly what they did believe is denied.

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    3. Invisible? Men do not light a lamp and stick it under a bushel basket. They put it on a stand where it gives light to the whole house. They certainly don't let it turn invisible.

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  2. Joe,

    "How can the institution fall away without the individuals within the institution falling away?"

    Their answer: anyone who 'falls away' was never truly converted in the first place.

    In the peace of Christ,

    - Bryan

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    1. Right. I think it is a combination of this and David Bates' argument. You had the true Christians in one generation, they died out, and the new generation "fell away"/never believed in the first place.

      Your point about the promises of Christ is a good one, but, then again, they were going to struggle with that anyway: http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2010/09/middle-church-argument.html

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    2. Not only does it not speak very highly of the Promises of Christ, it also doesn't speak very highly of the Holy Spirit or of the Gospel which is "the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). The idea that the Church *worldwide* within one generation disappears really is a staggering proposition.

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    1. Lol! Right on, let's ask James White. Maybe he would come teach the radical Romanists.

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  4. It's weird how poor a communicator your god is. Obviously your version of its religion is the correct one yet millions upon millions of Christians have gotten it wrong and then billions of other religions even more so!\

    Why is your god incapable of making its wishes about how it is to be worshipped clear enough to prevent confusion?

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    1. Simple. Free Will. God has made it as clear as possible without crushing free will (by, say, booming "be Catholic" from the clouds every couple days). I'm not sure what more you'd like God to do. I mean becoming a man, working miracles, rising from the dead, and founding an infallible Church should be more than enough, no? God has willed that "all who search will find" not "all will find." If you never take the time to search for the truth, you will never find it.

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    2. Salvage, you've entirely left out the possibility of freely rejecting God.

      Catholicism, both Eastern and Western, is actually very clearly defined and very clearly communicated. The Sacred Liturgy, the seven Sacraments, the Priesthood, the Trinity, the Incarnation, all of these things and more are incredibly intricate and philosophically in-depth. It's not that God has not communicated the Truth of Christianity to the Church, both originally in the Incarnation and over time by the Holy Spirit; just as it's not that millions upon millions of Christians have 'inexplicably' just "gotten it wrong." Those millions upon millions of Christians are either 1) Rebelling from historical Christian orthodoxy, or 2) Were taught that rebellion from historical Christian orthodoxy by their pastors/elders and have not yet encountered Catholicism as a viable alternative and been faced with decision '1)' yet.

      The other religions are something else entirely. Rabbinic Judaism, for instance, is the rejection of the New Covenant foretold in the Prophets and brought to fulfillment by the Messiah, thus it is not that God didn't communicate the New Covenant, but actually communicated it in Person to them; again, it doesn't matter how clear of a communication or Revelation you receive, if you want to reject it, you can. Islam is the contradictory sayings of Muhammad as recorded in the Qua'ran and Hadiths regarding religion wherein he tries to reject both Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism in the seventh century, both of which were highly developed, complex, and historical, yet still claim them and their Revelations and Scriptures as an authority supporting him.

      That's just the monotheistic religions. All religions however represent one of the two options that apply to Protestantism fundamentally: 1) You've rebelled against the crystal clear Catholic Christianity, or 2) You've been taught by those who have rebelled.

      I suspect you were trolling, but I thought I'd answer you seriously anyway ;)

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    3. >Simple. Free Will.

      No, that doesn't make sense. Free will has nothing to do with clear communication and if your god did say "be Catholic" from the clouds every couple days people would still be free to reject it right? They would be more free to do so as they would have all the information. As it stands now I reject your religion because all the information given isn't enough to get me to believe so I'm not really free to do so. I can no more believe in Catholicism than I can believe Scientology, Bigfoot or professional wresting being unscripted. The facts simply do not allow for it.

      >I'm not sure what more you'd like God to do.

      Um appear to the world at the UN maybe? Wouldn't that eliminate all doubt, end all religion based wars?

      See you say your god is all powerful, all knowing and all good yet it doesn't do anything to back that up. It behaves in the exact same way as something that doesn't exist leading to all this confusion.

      Why does it do that?

      >I mean becoming a man, working miracles, rising from the dead, and founding an infallible Church should be more than enough, no?

      Your god did all that? I assume you mean becoming Jesus? Well if it did that no one seems to have noticed at the time, the only record is the Bible and that's full of stuff we know never happened so it can't be called dependable. Also not even Christians can agree on it. See that's an example of your god's poor communication.

      His miracle were pretty lame, I mean water to wine? That's a parlour trick at best, walking on water? Kind of neat I guess but what point did it make? Curing the lepers? Well he only cured a few right? The diseases itself continued to ravish the world until medical science got it under control. Not to mention all the other diseases cured. That's more useful wouldn't you say? I mean polio alone!

      As for his rising from the dead, well that's not difficult for a god is it? And doesn't it make his "sacrifice" pointless? I mean dead is dead right? You don't get to come back but if you "die" then come back three days later it makes your death literally meaningless. At best you can say he went into a coma for three days. Not sure that's all that impressive.

      And infallible church? That would be the one that in our lifetime covered up the rape and abuse of children, laundered money for the Mafia and seems to have completely rejected Jesus abhorrence of wealth. In the church's history it has done some truly awful things from burning heretics and homosexuals alive to allying with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

      >If you never take the time to search for the truth, you will never find it.

      No, I take a lot of time thinking about this stuff but please tell me what I'm not understanding / getting wrong.

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    4. "This parrot is dead."

      "No it isn't. It is only sleeping."

      His heart was pierced with a lance! But nooo, that isn't dead enough for "It's just a flesh wound." Salvage, showing that while you ask for evidence, you are not really interested in looking for it and prepared to minimize anything proffered.

      Congratulations. You're a sophist. Nice word salad you've made.

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    5. Yeah, quoting Monty Python and saying I'm wrong without showing what I'm wrong about doesn't really accomplish much.

      Why don't you do what I do, take what I have said and point by point break it down?

      Like how I said no one noticed Jesus at the time? Surly that must be wrong right? That there is another source other than the Bible for Jesus right? I mean it was a god come to Earth! He brought a dead guy to life, people must have written all kinds of things about him at the time! He causes a big commotion in Jerusalem? So there must be Roman records of it at the time right?

      Come on! Show me where I am wrong, calling it a "word salad" is not only inaccurate but smells of a cop out.

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    6. I think I remember how to cut and paste... let's see, highlight, control c, point cursor, control v, alt i & insert boilerplate. Yes.

      Salvage: "At best you can say he went into a coma for three days."

      ColdStanding: "His heart was pierced with a lance!" Definition lance: large, sharp pointy thing used to stick into a living being to kill it. Definition heart: pumpy thing in chest that moves blood. Must be functioning else death ensues. Lance in heart = death.

      But, no, the great logician Salvage can even see basic logic.

      Point ColdStanding.

      Salvage: "Like how I said no one noticed Jesus at the time? "
      Simon Peter is a person. Simon Peter noticed Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was notice by somebody.

      Point ColdStanding.

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    7. Oops, missed this one.

      > "His heart was pierced with a lance!" Definition lance: large, sharp pointy thing used to stick into a living being to kill it. Definition heart: pumpy thing in chest that moves blood. Must be functioning else death ensues. Lance in heart = death.

      Yeah, and then he came back three days later so really that's not death, death is you don't get to come back.

      >Simon Peter is a person. Simon Peter noticed Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was notice by somebody.

      Right, that's in the Bible, kind of weird that Jesus' story wasn't told anywhere else and not for some 30-70 years after the events.

      It'd be like no one talking about the Moon Landing until 2025.

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  5. Saying God can't exist because He sucks makes as much sense as saying you don't exist because you suck.

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    1. That wouldn't make any sense, quite right, but I say gods don't exist because there is no evidence for their existence, does that make sense?

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  6. I've rolled out my tweaked Anselm argument on a few threads and no spoke in favor or against. I'll try it here:

    It's not impossible that God exists.

    God is the greatest thing the mind can conceive of by definition.

    God exists in the mind (you would at least concede a figment of imagination) .

    For things that are good, it's better they exist in reality than in the mind alone.

    If God did not exist, I could conceive of a God that did exist; I could conceive of something greater than the greatest possible thing.

    This is a contradiction, therefore God must exist.

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    1. >It's not impossible that God exists.

      It's not impossible that Odin exists.

      >God is the greatest thing the mind can conceive of by definition.

      Jupiter Optimus is the greatest thing the mind can conceive of by definition.

      >God exists in the mind (you would at least concede a figment of imagination) .

      Batman exists in the mind (you would at least concede a figment of imagination) .

      >For things that are good, it's better they exist in reality than in the mind alone.

      Better does not equal true or possible.

      >If God did not exist, I could conceive of a God that did exist; I could conceive of something greater than the greatest possible thing.

      Your god is the god of the Bible? It's actually not that great a god. A great god would not get angry with its creation and flood the planet. A great god would not have a requirement for blood sacrifices. A great god would not encourage wars like the ones it does in the Bible.

      >This is a contradiction, therefore God must exist.

      No, this is a non-sequitur propped up with sophistry.

      The description of your god is found in the Bible, if you read it with just the slightest bit of critical thought there is no other possible conclusion than it's just another mythological figure and that's as real as it will ever be.

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  7. Your refutation doesn't work because Odin is not Jupiter who is not Batman. Reductio ad absurdum works when you use the same logical form to disprove a conclusion, or a premise, or the form itself. If you wish to pick one and stick with it--Odin or Jupitor, fine. Batman doesn't even work at all because he is not the greatest thing conceivable to the mind.

    Jupitor is not the greatest thing that's conceivable because Saturn created him, being eternal is greater than being begotten--though for the record I would argue that eternally begotten and eternal are equally supreme. Same problem with Odin and Borr.

    So if you wish to demonstrate the fallacy and separate the shit from the sophistry, then you'll have to take another swing at it.

    I'm not fully convinced it's sound, I just don't think finding the fallacy if there even is one is as easy as you'd think.

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  8. >Your refutation doesn't work because Odin is not Jupiter who is not Batman.

    Which was part of my point, those are all things that have as much likely hood as being true as your god.

    Just as you believe your god to be the "greatest thing ever" (and it really isn't the god of the Bible is an awful monster) the Romans thought Jupiter was the greatest thing ever. Again, they have as much reason to believe they were right as you do.

    The fallacy is self-evident, you are trying to find a way to "logic" your god into reality and if you need to do that? Well, what does that tell you? The interesting thing about real things is you don't need to find a way to make them real, they already are.

    It's not sound, anything that tries to make the supernatural and superstition real never is.

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    1. Circular logic. You are arguing they have as much likelihood as being true, and may not presuppose it.

      Furthermore, the notion that Romans thought Jupiter was the greatest thing ever is so ludicrous that reading a classical mythology book written for grade-school children would refute it. Augustine had a field-day with it in City of God. Even the pagan writings show the philosophers of late antiquity trying to fudge up something respectable to match the Christian conception -- they know they didn't have it.

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    2. Ah yes, the "No one believed in their god like we do therefore their god wasn't real!" dodge.

      As if the Romans somehow built temples, waged wars, sanctified laws and pretty much worked their gods into every aspect of their life because they didn't take them seriously.

      Your god is no more real than theirs were but it was just as respected, revered and worshipped.

      Just as your god created the universe and mankind so did their gods only their stories often made a bit more sense.

      > Even the pagan writings show the philosophers of late antiquity trying to fudge up something respectable to match the Christian conception

      uh huh:

      http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090107220826AAPLoRw

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    3. Ah, you didn't need to read the books -- you knew it already! So now you double down on the lie with a bait-and-switch. Since you can't defend "the greatest thing ever," you change to "respected, revered, and worshipped" under the impression that no one would notice.

      The notion that the Romans thought Jupiter created the universe is too obviously ludicrous for you not to know it is a lie.

      Then, for a trifecta, you point to Yahoo Answers as a source, as if that would make anyone respect the line of throughly debunked Victorian anti-Christianity given there -- or you. Indeed, it points rather to your deserving no respect at all.

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    4. > Since you can't defend "the greatest thing ever," you change to "respected, revered, and worshipped" under the impression that no one would notice.

      Um, no that's pretty much the same thing. Romans took their gods as seriously as any other theists take their own gods.

      >The notion that the Romans thought Jupiter created the universe is too obviously ludicrous for you not to know it is a lie.
      Well they had Jupiter as their god king but you're right, they never really named the universe creator god but regardless they viewed Jupiter as you view your own god.

      What's cute here is all the stuff I've said, all the questions I've asked you pretty much ignore but go ape over a misstatement over mythological trivia and then go on to declare victory.

      But let's say I'm lying because... whatever, doesn't change facts like while the followers of your god were scrabbling out a harsh life in the desert the Romans and their false gods where leading the world in everything from culture to engineering.

      Why would the people who followed the false god(s) have so much success and the ones who followed the true one not so much? In fact your true followers were under the heels of the pagans, the Romans burnt down your god's temple and used the gold to make the Colosseum that is still standing today. Strange!

      >line of throughly debunked Victorian anti-Christianity given there

      Really? Debunked? I must have missed that, can you show me this debunking? Or has my lack of Roman mythology specifics made your god real so there's no point?

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    5. Even you don't have the stomach to proclaim the same thing, which is what your argument needs, and no, they weren't even "pretty much the same thing."

      And you know perfectly well that they didn't regard him as we view God, because otherwise you wouldn't have spewed that lie about their believing him to be the Creator. Which lie you are now dropping like a hot potato in the foolish belief that no one will notice that you lie and lie and lie and lie because in your hatred of God you care nothing for the truth. If it mattered enough for you to bring up, it matters even when it doesn't go the way you like.

      Resorting to ad hominem attacks do not change anything. Nor do your claims that any true God would have done exactly what you expect him to. He's smarter than you are and has better judgment.

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    6. >Even you don't have the stomach to proclaim the same thing, which is what your argument needs, and no, they weren't even "pretty much the same thing."

      No, your god is the same as all the other gods, it's not anything new.

      >And you know perfectly well that they didn't regard him as we view God,

      No, they did, they prayed to it, begged it for favor when things went well they assumed it was because their god liked them when things went bad it was because they angered it.

      >because otherwise you wouldn't have spewed that lie about their believing him to be the Creator.

      You really like this lie thing don't you? Once again, you ignore all my other points as if my mistake somehow means they're not there.

      >Which lie you are now dropping like a hot potato in the foolish belief that no one will notice that you lie and lie and lie and lie because in your hatred of God you care nothing for the truth.

      HAHAHAH! YES! I hate your god! Grrrrr! God! Grrr!

      No you very silly person, I don't hate your god, it doesn't exist so how could it? I suppose if it were real I wouldn't like it very much, after all it encouraged wars, flooded the planet, killing millions and seems to be very blood thirsty. Also the business with the foreskins? Just ew.

      >If it mattered enough for you to bring up, it matters even when it doesn't go the way you like.

      What isn't going the way I like? You still haven't answered any of my points all you've done is corrected my knowledge of Jupiter's role as not being the Roman creator god and for that I thank you. I like learning new things, that's how I get smarter. I suspect you don't see any value in that sort of thing.

      >Resorting to ad hominem attacks do not change anything.

      Quite right, not sure that I had, hey why don't you answer my other non-Jupiter points and really show me?

      > Nor do your claims that any true God would have done exactly what you expect him to.

      So, it's wrong for me to expect your god to be competent when making its religion? But isn't it all perfect and doesn't it want people to be Catholic? Strange that a god can't get what it wants.

      >He's smarter than you are and has better judgment.

      Not really sure about that, it's a very poor communicator and it seems to be an awfully bad judge of people. For instance the Holy See is it's One True Church right? Well that would be an organization whose bank got busted laundering money for the Mafia and covers up the abuse of children.

      Would you have such a thing represent you?

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  9. " The fallacy is self-evident, you are
    trying to find a way to "logic" your god
    into reality and if you need to do that?
    Well, what does that tell you? The
    interesting thing about real things is
    you don't need to find a way to make
    them real, they already are. "

    Am I to understand your point to be that if God really existed, I wouldn't have to prove it?

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    2. Ha! I totally misunderstood your comment, yes! That is it exactly.

      If your god were real there would be no doubt or confusion about the issue.

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  10. Salvage, is there anything that you suspect that we agree on as being true, that at one time had lots of doubt and confusion?

    If there are such examples, wouldn't that disprove your argument that confusion and doubt indicate something isn't true?

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  11. That most definitely does not follow. Why should God, the Holy Trinity, conform to your expectations? You, Salvage, are not truly capable of creating anything, yet you deign to be able to set the standard by which reality is to be judged? Again your strategy is to say, no that isn't enough, if God were real he'd do this or that ridiculous thing that I, Salvage, say he has to do. Were your ridiculous conditions met, you'd come up with some excuse to say it was fake. Your aim ignore the message for as long as possible saying that your standards have not been met so you can attempt to plead ignorance at the day of judgment. Not going to work. For it will not be God that condemns you, but your very self.

    Why do you play the street hustler shuffling around the pea? You have learned this lowly image of yourself from the World, which serves the Malicious Deceiver. He who believes in his promises against those of our Savior are in for a rude awakening. You need to repent and make yourself humble before the Lord God that loves you and would see you saved, in spite of yourself.

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    1. That most definitely does not follow. Why should God, the Holy Trinity, conform to your expectations?

      It doesn't have to conform to my expectations, it has to conform to logic, reason and the physical evidence, the things we use to define reality.

      >You, Salvage, are not truly capable of creating anything, yet you deign to be able to set the standard by which reality is to be judged?

      Sure I am, I've created tons of stuff and once again I don't deign anything, the standards for reality are already set and your god doesn't conform to them in any way. It does conform to the standards of myth and superstition however.

      >Again your strategy is to say, no that isn't enough, if God were real he'd do this or that ridiculous thing that I, Salvage, say he has to do.

      Your god hasn't done anything much less enough to show it's real.

      >Were your ridiculous conditions met, you'd come up with some excuse to say it was fake.
      No, if your god were real there would be no excuse possible. And what is ridiculous about my conditions that your god appear? It used to do it all the time in the Old Testament and didn't it do it with Jesus? So you're saying all that was ridiculous?

      > Your aim ignore the message for as long as possible saying that your standards have not been met so you can attempt to plead ignorance at the day of judgment.

      What message? The Bible? It's full of illogical contradictions so that brings me back to your god being a poor communicator, but apparently it's my fault for not understanding? Your god is all powerful isn't it? You'd think communication would be rather an easy thing for it.

      And day of judgment! Ha! I love that, when you think your god is going to come back and kill / punish everyone who doesn't think as you do. But that's not just atheists right? But Muslims and Jews and Christians that aren't of your sect.

      So your god sends out a message that only a minority understand and it's going to hurt everyone that didn't.

      Do you see what I mean when I say it doesn't make any sense? Does that make sense to you? If so can you explain it?

      >Not going to work. For it will not be God that condemns you, but your very self.

      But I was made by your god wasn't I? I was given a brain and put in a situation that could lead me to no other conclusion than your god is not real. But apparently that's all my fault?

      >Why do you play the street hustler shuffling around the pea?

      Hmm I don't think I am.

      >You have learned this lowly image of yourself from the World, which serves the Malicious Deceiver.

      Ah Satan! Yes, this is funny too. So your god, the all powerful, all good being made his own nemesis because... ? At any rate this creature has been foiling your god since Eden and messing with its perfect creation despite the fact that your god is all powerful and all good.

      See what I mean about how it all makes very little sense when you give it just the slightest bit of thought?

      >He who believes in his promises against those of our Savior are in for a rude awakening.

      Savior! Once again, contradiction and ill logic, you have your god "saving" its creation from itself for behaving how your god knew it was going to behave / made it to behave!

      > You need to repent and make yourself humble before the Lord God that loves you and would see you saved, in spite of yourself.

      Repent what? The sin of thinking about stuff? The sin of understanding how time can shape superstition and myth into religion? And isn't your god the danger that I need to be "saved" from?

      It's like school yard bully grabbing my hand and smacking my face with it telling me to say "uncle" and he'll "save" me.

      So if real your god is clearly insane.

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    2. I have misspoken. You are not only a street hustler shuffling a pea to fool the unsuspecting, you are a purveyor of Punch and Judy shows. All meaning has been poured out of your words so that it is easier for you to string up your lifeless husks and make them dance as you please to your "logic". It is a deeply dishonest thing that you do, passing off your crayon icons on empty milk cartons.

      I am not deceived by your prestidigitation or the knock-off words (You want Louis Vuitton? I got your Louis Vuitton right here.) that you hawk as a sideline. FYI, I hear you can get cute bobbles in Romania this time of year and turn a good profit on the unsuspecting at the fair, but then, who doesn't go to the fair for a bit of the old Tom foolery?

      I pity the atheist, from the stand point of the risk they place their immortal soul under, to be sure, but also to see them sit about playing pretend culture with figurines they got cheaply from a make work scheme for grad students pursing a degree in cut-and-paste creative writing at a fake university facing perennial funding shortages in a land twisted and distorted by a long dead voluptuary and held in thrall by vultures that rip at flesh while underlings peep about with cap in hand. Even the science is fake, replaced by research. Punch and Judy show. Thrall of Satan. Lurking about the stoop, barely discernible in the red neon glow, itching for your next fix, trying to tout tickets with a lure of free drinks and dancing girls. All the while, hurling insults at those who turn their eyes away in disgust at your antics.

      I will not look away.

      Street hustler. Repent of your sins. You know nothing of the teachings of the Church. Abandon your lower self. Seek the higher room. For the first time, think, instead of the aping you fob off as intellectualism. God, capital "G" God the very ground of all being (not Himself, one of many beings), extends a hand to you to pull you out of the muck, which through no original fault of your own you find yourself in and which, never the less, you have become habituated to.

      But, no, Salvage says, "But I am not dirty. It's designer earth applique. All the rage, that."

      Delete
    3. So... that would be you can't answer any of my points? Let me show you how it is done:

      >. God, capital "G" God

      No, just a god, one of about 4,000 created in the last 10,000 years but does your god really care about how it's name is spelled? Isn't that rather petty?

      Delete
    4. Points? What do you care about points? You'll just cut and paste away the truth to suit your twisted ends. God could care less how His Holy name is spelled, all glory and praise to Him, but it makes a great deal of difference to petty monkey brains. Words matter. Correct definitions matter. Logic is totally dependent on correct definitions. Failure to defend the value of words leads to disaster. This truth is so badly corrupted in you, there is little point in attempting to sort the subsidiary aspect of the manifold nature of God's Truth, all of which has been clearly defined and discussed and is available, nearly for free.

      Delete
    5. > all glory and praise to Him,

      Now that's another thing, why does your god need glory and praise? Isn't it the "greatest thing ever"? Would such a thing need to be reminded of how great it is? It's strange to think of your god having an ego that needs boosting from mortals.

      Delete
    6. Didn't your momma tell you to about Please and Thank you? Again you fail in distinguishing between what God needs and what His creations need. We need to give the attribution to whom it rightly belongs, lest we start thinking we are where it's at.

      Point met. Point defeated. Point to ColdStanding. Will you ever get the point?

      Delete
    7. So telling your god how great it is, that's being polite and a way to stay humble?

      I suppose the last bit makes a certain sense, it's sad and pathetic but at least I can see the logic.

      But the thing is, your god isn't all that great, in fact it's a bit of a screw-up, a liar or at least very stupid, a mass murderer (you ever compare you god's body count with Satan's?) and a generally insane monster. I don't see how it deserves anything like praise.

      How do ignore all the awful things it says it did in the Bible? Is it because you're terrified of it?

      Delete
    8. I see you have abandoned your mask of objectivity. Nice to see you finally tell us how you really feel. Not that we didn't know all along. Keep poking an atheist and you'll find a bigot.

      Delete
    9. have you noticed that when you don't have any answers to my questions you just call me names?

      And you don't think worshipping a being as violently crazy as your god out of fear isn't pathetic?

      Well obviously not, but why?

      Delete
  12. >Salvage, is there anything that you suspect that we agree on as being true, that at one time had lots of doubt and confusion?

    Probably, when I was younger I was raised to believe gods were real but then I got older, did some reserach on my own in areas like science, history, anthropology, philosophy and realized that no, the god I was raised on was no more real than the 4,000 of so mankind has worshipped for the last 10,000 years. I no longer have any doubt or confusion on this particular issue.

    >If there are such examples, wouldn't that disprove your argument that confusion and doubt indicate something isn't true?

    Well this is where context comes into play, your god, the one in the Bible makes it clear that it should be the only god worshipped right? It says so in the 10 Commandments, in fact it's at the top of the list! Your god is also all powerful yet it is not and never has been the number one god, not even at the peak of its popularity. Other gods have consistently been bigger.

    Now you couple that with your god's story from Genesis to Jesus, stories full of contradictions, illogical events and actions and the only possible conclusion is that it isn't real and never was.

    If your god were real doubt and confusion would be impossible, the stories like how it made the universe would match the physical evidence, the story of Jesus would make sense and so on.

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    1. Ah, so your problem is that you think Big Brother was entirely too wimpy, and that God should be Big Brother on steroids.

      Delete
    2. No, my "problem" is that your god doesn't so anything to suggest that it's real.

      And isn't your god all knowing and very judgmental? So I'm not sure if it could be anymore "Big Brother" than it already is.

      Delete
  13. Do you believe that a person named Jesus who was the son of Mary who lived in Nazareth existed?

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  14. "... you think your god is going to come back and kill /punish everyone who doesn't think as you do. But that's not just atheists right? But Muslims and Jews and Christians that aren't of your sect..."

    Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People, "the first to hear the Word of God." The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ", "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."

    840 And when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.

    841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

    842 The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:

    All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .

    843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."

    All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . . 331

    843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."

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  15. Sorry for double posting the last paragraph. Also, " Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation. "

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  16. >Do you believe that a person named Jesus who was the son of Mary who lived in Nazareth existed?

    Probably not, Jesus was most likely a legend along the lines of King Arthur and Robin Hood, that is an archetype of the countless self-declared messiahs that every generation has.

    Yes, those Catechism are very nice but alas they don't trump what Jesus himself is alleged to have said:

    John 15:1-8

    15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

    5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

    I repeat:

    such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned

    Now the Jews most certainly do not abide in Jesus neither do the Hindus and countless other religions that we can call "miscellaneous". That's billions of people that your god is going to "throw into the fire" for burning. I think we can safely interpret that as Hell yes?

    Do Catechisms override what Jesus says in the Bible? How strange that would be!

    The Muslims view Jesus as a prophet of sorts but not THE messiah and they most certainly do not view the Christian god as THE god so I'm not sure that counts as "abiding". I think it's safe to say it would be the deadwood way for them.

    The Catechisms are your religion's way of fitting square pegs into round holes, they come along whenever there is a contradiction between your beliefs and reality. A patch if you will on the operating system to keep it functioning with new applications. The same way the Vatican insists that the Bible is absolutely true and at the same time they say evolution is true. You can't have it both ways without indulging into some serious doublethink. Genesis is quite clear, your god made man as we are now, not from some slow process starting with a single cell. The Universe was not created in 6 days, the Vatican agrees with that and the physical evidence that makes it plain it took a few billion years more.

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    1. > Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation. "

      Reminds me of an old joke:

      An Inuit walks up to the priest after the very first Sunday sermon his tribe had ever heard: "If I did not know about Jesus and sin, would I go to Hell?" he asked.

      "No, of course not my son, if you did not know you would be spared." the Priest said gently.

      The Inuit thinks for a moment and then says "Then why did you tell me?"

      And it still doesn't solve the problem of John 15, Jesus doesn't seem to make an exception for ignorance and if it were a factor you'd think he would have said something.

      But that brings me back to my overall point which is if your god were real ignorance would be impossible. Why would it allow people not to know about it? Specially if the punishment was so terrible?

      Do you know when the first real spike of atheism occurred in Europe? When the "New World" was "discovered". People in Europe could not understand how it was possible that there was a whole 50% of the planet that had never even heard of their god much less Jesus! It didn't make any sense that your god would simply ignore the Americas. Some realized that your god could only travel in the minds of its believers. You never find Jesus anywhere that had never been told of it. Now how does that make any sense outside of your god being a fabrication?

      Delete
    2. Nothing there but maudlin tears, grease paint indignation, and clanging gongs to startle the unsuspecting into suspension of belief. You've got Stockholm syndrome.

      I have to laugh, Salvage, because you've been told, too. You can't claim ignorance of the coming end anymore. But then, only a fool would bemoan this wonderful gift of knowledge that mercy and compassion has afforded to you. Are you a fool, Salvage? You certainly look it, as you prance about with your over-sized felt hat of logic, sporting a garish plume with the word Reason stenciled on in spray paint, plastic light saber hanging from your Darwin beast/fish-themed sash, and sporting a d. y. i. pin badge that says, "I'm a Bright."

      The Church eased off on the hell business because the thoroughly deceived became incontinent when they began to contemplate the full extent of their impending doom. That doesn't mean that the two end destinations have gone away.

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    3. >You can't claim ignorance of the coming end anymore.

      Hmm, I think I can because this end has been coming for about 2,000 years now. See every generation of Christians has insisted that they were living in "End Times" and the times they don't seem to end! But let me guess, this time for sure!

      >But then, only a fool would bemoan this wonderful gift of knowledge that mercy and compassion has afforded to you.

      So... your god's gift is I can escape it having me thrown into Hell if I believe the story that I can't believe? I'm not sure that's mercy and or compassion, I think that's crazy.

      Feel free to explain why I'm wrong and that it makes sense! Or you can just call me more names, that's sort of the same thing... I guess.

      > Are you a fool, Salvage?

      On occasion but I seem to get away with it.

      >You certainly look it, as you prance about with your over-sized felt hat of logic, sporting a garish plume with the word Reason stenciled on in spray paint, plastic light saber hanging from your Darwin beast/fish-themed sash, and sporting a d. y. i. pin badge that says, "I'm a Bright."

      Well! That's my Halloween costume take care of.

      So, logic and reason... are bad things?

      Darwin was wrong? Really?

      >The Church eased off on the hell business because the thoroughly deceived became incontinent when they began to contemplate the full extent of their impending doom. That doesn't mean that the two end destinations have gone away.

      Ah now this is interesting, here we have two Christians, one who clearly believes his god to be the angry sort that brooks no deviation and will punish it harshly and the other, Daniel whose god is more relaxed and will forgive Muslims and Jews and others for their lack of Jesus faith.

      See what I mean about how your god is such a poor communicator? It's given the message to two different people who accept it but cannot agree on the details!

      Am I wrong to expect a real god wouldn't leave such doubt in its wake?

      Or is this once again Satan's work? Your all powerful god being thwarted by its own creation.

      Delete
    4. He isn't a poor communicator. The message is perfectly clear and understandable. It has been understood by a great many people over a very long period of time. The deliberately obtuse on the other hand, have intentionally made a mash of it so that their enjoyments via their private parts are not curtailed.

      I didn't say reason and logic are wrong. You just don't seem to want to understand the difference between the real thing and a fake. Example: I write real paragraphs. You cut and paste. Real writing. Fake writing. You use fake definitions. I use the actual definitions.

      Please add, to your Halloween costume a paste on Guy Fawkes mustache and goatee beard. Make sure you twirl it on occasion, for effect.

      Daniel and I do not disagree on the details. He is a beautiful, gentile and charitable soul, filled with patients and understanding towards you. We both submit to the teaching of the Holy Mother Church, love God and our neighbor, and say our prayers. Everything that he says I agree with. We just differ in our approach to you. He thinks you are simply misinformed and will come about with the proper information. I know you are a mangy little street hustler out for a fix and treat you accordingly. It's called tough love. You are enthralled to Satan. It's going to pinch a little while I pop off the collar.

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    5. >He isn't a poor communicator. The message is perfectly clear and understandable.

      And that's why there have been how many schisms again? The Reformation and the wars that followed were what?

      So your all powerful god clearly communicated itself but people were too whatever to understand it? Well wouldn't your god know that was going to happen and craft its answer to insure it didn't? Or was your god surprised that it all went so horrifically wrong?

      >It has been understood by a great many people over a very long period of time.

      Sure but it's been misunderstood by far more.


      >The deliberately obtuse on the other hand, have intentionally made a mash of it so that their enjoyments via their private parts are not curtailed.

      So people who say your god isn't real or interpret it differently than you do only do so not because the story is so bizarre and unlikely with no physical evidence or they've been taught another religion but because they want to have sex?

      Hmm, I don't think that makes much sense.

      >I didn't say reason and logic are wrong. You just don't seem to want to understand the difference between the real thing and a fake.

      Really? What do I think is fake that is real? Your god? But I've given reasons why I think it's fake, can you tell me how they are wrong?


      >Example: I write real paragraphs. You cut and paste. Real writing. Fake writing. You use fake definitions. I use the actual definitions.

      What definition have I faked? It's strange you keep making these accusations but don't actually specifically say what I've done wrong. Can you show me?


      >It's called tough love. You are enthralled to Satan. It's going to pinch a little while I pop off the collar.

      Yes, this Satan fellow, listen why did your god make its own adversary? Does it need the challenge? Is your god like people in that it needs to overcome stuff to feel alive and purposeful?

      At any rate since you seem to be linked atheism with being "enthralled to Satan" I'm not sure you can pop anything off. If you could answer my questions with stuff that makes sense that could help.

      Like why did your god sacrifice itself to itself so it wouldn't be angry with its creation for behaving exactly how it made it / knew it would behave?

      Oh and is the business in the Garden of Eden literal? Did all that actually happen? If so why did your god let Satan into Paradise? Isn't it all knowing? Wouldn't it know what Satan was there to do and how bad it would be?

      Delete
    6. Showing you:
      "Like why did your god..."

      That is simply not what Jesus Christ's death on the cross means. I will not explain why. You seem to expect 6000 years of theology to be no more difficult to digest than a Twinkie.

      Your theology of Satan is similarly deficient.

      You've been shown.

      Game, set,match to ColdStanding.

      Delete
    7. No, I don't think you're showing me anything.

      >That is simply not what Jesus Christ's death on the cross means.

      Well as far as I can tell it meant nothing, no one noticed it at the time (if it happened) and since he came back to life three days later (only to disappear in the exact same way dead people / people that never were do) there wasn't any sacrifice. So what did it mean?

      >I will not explain why.

      Oh.

      Is it because you don't understand and don't want to admit it?

      > You seem to expect 6000 years of theology to be no more difficult to digest than a Twinkie.

      No, I expect it to make sense it coming from a perfect supreme being and all. Instead it's weird, convoluted, self-contradictory and just plain doesn't make any sense. It's like George Lucas wrote it or something.

      >Your theology of Satan is similarly deficient.

      Is it? I really didn't know I had one, still don't understand why your god made the thing that keeps on messing up its plans but apparently there is an answer, you know it but won't tell me because...?

      >You've been shown.

      Um, no, not really.

      >Game, set,match to ColdStanding.

      Oh, you win? Congratulations?

      Delete
  17. "Probably not, Jesus was most likely a legend
    along the lines of King Arthur and Robin
    Hood, that is an archetype of the countless
    self-declared messiahs that every generation
    has."

    And what do you make of the testimony of nonChristians to the historical Jesus?

    Tacitus? Lucian of Samosata? Suetonius? Pliny the Younger? Mara Bar Serapion?

    The Babylonian Talmud?

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    1. They were not around when Jesus was said to be around, they came after and wrote OF Christians, not Christ himself. That's an important distinction wouldn't you say? No one thought to write down anything about Jesus until well after he was said to have died. More was written about Augustus than your god.

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    2. Less was written about Alexander the Great.

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    3. Nope, a great deal was written about Alexander the Great, sadly much of it lost but we have people writing of the stuff writting about him but furthermore we have physical evidence all the way from Spain to India of Alexander's adventures. We know about his generals and what happened to them afterwards, we know about Alex's father and origins.

      No, we know far more about Alex than your god.

      Alex also went further than your god ever did, he certainly did more to shape history and he even tried to bridge East and Western cultures in unity. It failed but still more than Jesus ever did.

      Oh and Alex was honest about war, he didn't mind it a bit and saw it as a useful tool to get what he wanted, Jesus on the other hand said he didn't like war yet that's the way his religion was spread throughout Rome and the world.

      Bit of a hypocrisy wouldn't you say?

      Delete
  18. "Probably not, Jesus was most likely a legend
    along the lines of King Arthur and Robin
    Hood, that is an archetype of the countless
    self-declared messiahs that every generation
    has."

    And what do you make of the testimony of nonChristians to the historical Jesus?

    Tacitus? Lucian of Samosata? Suetonius? Pliny the Younger? Mara Bar Serapion?

    The Babylonian Talmud?

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  19. Tacitus: "Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus..."

    Lucian: "...Having convinced themselves that they are immortal and will live forever, the poor wretches despise death and most willingly give themselves to it. Moreover, that first lawgiver of theirs persuaded them that they are all brothers the moment they transgress and deny the Greek gods and begin worshiping that crucified sophist and living by his laws...."

    Suetonius: "...Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Cherstus, he expelled them from Rome."

    Pliny the Younger: "...They affirmed, however, that the whole of their guilt, or their error, was, that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a god, and bound themselves to a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft, adultery, never to falsify their word, not to deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up..."

    Mara Bar-Serapion: "...What else can we say, when the wise are forcibly dragged off by tyrants, their wisdom is captured by insults, and their minds are oppressed and without defense? What advantage did the Athenians gain from murdering Socrates? Famine and plague came upon them as a punishment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea and the Jews, desolate and driven from their own kingdom, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates is not dead, because of Plato; neither is Pythagoras, because of the statue of Juno; nor is the wise king, because of the "new law" he laid down..."

    Talmud [Babylonian Abodah Zarah 17a]: "One of the disciples of Jesus the Nazarene found me..."

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  20. Once again, they were not eye witnesses, they were not around when Jesus was said to be around, they are talking about what Christians believed.

    Do you understand the difference?

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    1. The difference is self-evident. However, you have to go and explain why you think it matters to a hill of beans. If a large cult sprung up about a man allegedly executed a few decades ago, anyone writing up it would report that the man never existed.

      Your problem with the witnesses is that they agree. This is silly of you.

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    2. > you have to go and explain why you think it matters to a hill of beans.

      You don't see the difference between someone seeing something and someone talking about someone else seeing something?

      > If a large cult sprung up about a man allegedly executed a few decades ago, anyone writing up it would report that the man never existed.

      Well a man being executed isn't a remarkable story, that happens all the time and so if someone told you that you'd have to reason to think they were wrong. However a man being executed and then coming back to life is rather unusual and if someone told you that well wouldn't you want proof? Furthermore wouldn't such an unprecedented event attract a lot of attention?

      Just like Jesus bringing back Lazarus no one outside of the authors of the Bible seemed to have noticed and they didn't bother to tell anyone until well after the events.

      That doesn't strike you as odd?

      Delete
  21. Eyewitnesses that wrote of Christ? Matthew, Mark, John, Peter, Paul, James, and Jude.

    Throw in Ignatius and Barnabas too.

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  22. Yes, that would be the Bible, so your argument would be "Jesus is true because the Bible says he's true." You can see how that's rather circular reasoning can't you? Another problem is they all don't quite agree on what happened in the details and they relate events without explaining how they knew they occurred. There's also the issue that there was nothing original about the story of Jesus, everything he did happened to other demigods in past mythology.

    So we only have one source for your god's appearance on Earth, why didn't anyone else notice? The Romans loved writing stuff down, Julius Caesar not only wrote books but had stuff written about him by both friends and enemies from Spain to Egypt. He made a far greater impression on the world than Jesus. Does that make sense to you?

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  23. Before I continue with research into the historical record, I should pause to ask what evidence would you need from that record?

    You make it sound as if the gold standard for believing in a historical event is eyewitness testimony from someone who disbelieves in the historical event.

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    1. >Before I continue with research into the historical record, I should pause to ask what evidence would you need from that record?

      Eye witnesses, official records, graffiti carved into the walls dated to the era but see what you find, maybe there's something I am unaware of but you're missing the point; there shouldn't be any controversy, there shouldn't be any confusion, it should be a fact beyond dispute that your god was here.

      There shouldn't be any other religions much less some many variations of your own.

      Yet there they are, your god came, no one noticed or cared enough to write about it until 30-70 years later and all it lead to was a new version of two older religions that promptly fractured and went to war with each other.

      To think this somehow divine or the plans of a perfect god? Does it sound like that to you?

      >You make it sound as if the gold standard for believing in a historical event is eyewitness testimony from someone who disbelieves in the historical event.

      No, the gold standard for believing in historical events are multiple contemporary sources coupled with physical evidence like we have for a lot of historical figures like Caesar, Alexander, Cleopatra, and hosts of others.

      Does it strike you as odd that history has more proof of Constantine than of Jesus?

      Surly your god would have known that this lack of evidence would only lead to more atheism, which according to your religion dooms people to Hell. So if your god is real it wants people to disbelieve in it or at the very least makes it very easy to do so.

      After Jesus "died" he came back, talked with some friends and then vanished up to Heaven right?

      Why?

      What if instead he walked up to Pilot, showed him his wounds and said "Any questions?" wouldn't that have sealed the deal? The Romans probably would have fallen to the knees right there. Christianity would have been proven to be from the real god and as long as Jesus stuck around there would have never been any doubt.

      No of the wars that followed would have ever happened.

      Instead Jesus vanishes and leaves a horror show in his wake that we are still dealing with to this very day.

      Delete
    2. We've provided the eyewitnesses. You've rejected them on the grounds that they say what you don't like. You would reject any other evidence on the same ground.

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    3. Ha! Ha! Yes! I don't like Jesus so I reject the people who say they saw Christians 100s of years after Jesus was said to be around as being eye witnesses.

      Once again, your god came to Earth and only four people thought to write about some 30-70 years after the alleged events. Furthermore the story they told is suspiciously similar to older myths and they relate events that they themeslves could not have witnesses.

      Oh and they made some stuff up, like the "Massacre of the Innocents" that never happened.

      My opinions do not change that or answer the questions like why no on noticed at the time, why it took 300 years for Christianity to become a major religion (via two Roman civil wars and then spread over Europe via more wars of cultural genocide) and why it never became the only religion.

      Why does your god have so much trouble convincing people who believe in gods that it's the right god and that the Catholic method of worshipping it is the right way?

      You can question my motives all you like but your cause would be better served by actually, y'know, answering my questions and points.

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  25. Gentlemen, I'm enjoying trolling your discussion. One thing to remember Salvage is that the Bible is a collection of eyewitness testimonies put in one book. It is reasonable to use the Bible as proof of eyewitness testimony because except for parts of the synoptic gospels-Matthew, Mark, Luke-the authors wrote independently. The books weren't put together till centuries later.So someone in the year 150 having this discussion would say "Yes there are eyewitness testimonies. Matthew, John, Peter, Jude , Paul have all written about Jesus and their letters are being passed around as we speak. That argument can still be used today.

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  26. > One thing to remember Salvage is that the Bible is a collection of eyewitness testimonies put in one book.

    It is also a collection of myths, legends and material that is outright apocryphal. It's origins are hazy at best, we know it has been re-written, re-edited and translated countless times by agencies with agendas so no, it's not reasonable to use it as proof in any thing.

    > The books weren't put together till centuries later

    Which supports my point; when Jesus was around he wasn't remarkable enough for anyone to bother writing anything down.

    And the process that did put them together, it was a committee affair wasn't it? Lots of debate about what should go where, huge chunks cut out (which lead to schisms right?) and the final product decided not by any gods but by men in power.

    Which has lead to all kinds of confusion, conflict and war, was that your god's plan? It couldn't have provided a clear, concise, beyond debate script for the whole world to follow? Once again for an all powerful all knowing being your god sure doesn't seem to be very successful.

    > That argument can still be used today.

    Not, really, it all boils down to one highly suspect source. Where are the independent sources talking about this amazing Jewish teacher who raised the dead and caused a ruckus in Jerusalem? It was a huge deal that only four guys wrote about some 30 to 70 years later and then a few hundred years later some other people sat down and finalized it?

    Clearly it wasn't a good way to communicate because wars pretty much instantly followed. Do you know that the very first Christian "holy" war was Christian on Christian in North Africa? Which side do you think your god cheered?

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  27. "...we know it has been re-written, re-edited and translated countless times by agencies with agendas so no, it's not reasonable to use it as proof in any thing..."

    What's a good example of this assertion? Where the copy or editing or translation really is the linchpin of a schism?

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  28. >What's a good example of this assertion? Where the copy or editing or translation really is the linchpin of a schism?

    Well the biggest one was the nature of Jesus, was he a man? A god? A mix? They had to sit down and figure that out and of course not everyone was happy with the outcome.

    It's a fascinating story, I suggest you track down some of the history books that talk about it or get this lecture:

    http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=6672

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  29. Which translation caused that kerfluffle?

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  30. All of them!

    Or do you not notice how fractured Christianity is? How many different sects are there? You have Catholics and Protestants, about what? Three or four different types of Catholicism but more united than the Protestants which have a dozen different strains? And within those further sub-divisions like Mormons and snake handlers all the way down to Waco style wackos.

    Read the history of the schisms and Reformation Wars for the specifics but surly just by looking at the kaleidoscope of factions that all call Jesus a god you can see a problem.

    Once again, if your god is real why can't it get its followers to agree? It would seem to me that a god keen on worship would have a plan for a religion that would be perfect and would creation a united people instead the 2,000 years of Jesus has been the same as the 2,000 years before; war and conflicting ideologies.

    If your god came to Earth it changed nothing.

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    1. So you could have believed in Jesus prior to the 16th Century?

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    2. I dunno, maybe if I didn't know all the history, science and stuff I know now? If my only source of knowledge was the local priest who only read selected bits of the Bible forbiding me from reading it all? I suppose.

      But not really my point as the Reformation certainly wasn't the first split in Christendom, just the most dramatic, violent and with the greatest impact.

      My point is your god if real obviously wants division in how its worshipped, perhaps it enjoys the conflict? It seemed to like war in the Old Testament in its name so it could have been a continuation.

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    3. Maybe then the issue is not so much a lack of faith in God, but an overabundance of faith in man to behave rightly.

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    4. Well that's one way of looking at it but since we were made by your god the fault still tracks back to it doesn't it?

      Or when it was making people it didn't know how bad some of them were going to turn out? That it keeps trying to fix stuff but it never seems to take?

      And wasn't the whole Jesus thing part of your god's plan? Do you think it wanted it to work out like it did or did it make mistakes that lead to the Reformation and the further splintering of its believers?

      As I've said here before it seems that theists want to credit their god for all the good stuff and blame people for all the bad while ignoring their own claim that their god made it all.

      If I have that wrong please explain it because that really makes my faith in your god specifically impossible; all these contradictions and the need to "double-think" to make sense of it.

      Real stuff rarely needs to be twisted like a pretzel to make sense.

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    5. > "...since we were made by your god the fault still tracks back to it doesn't it?"

      To believe this statement would render EVERYTHING God's fault the ENTIRE time. For example:

      * I'm bitten by a mosquito, it's God's fault. He made them, after all. It's His fault.

      * Someone cuts me up in traffic, it's God's fault. He made that person, as well as all the people involved in the construction of that junction, as well as the invention of the motor car itself. It's His fault.

      * If my wife cheats on me, it's God's fault. He made my wife. He made the guy. It's His fault.

      * If I cheat on my wife, it's God's fault. He made me weak-willed and a sucker for blondes. It's His fault.

      I think one could only truly hold to this logic if one denied the entire concept of free-will.

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    6. > "...theists want to credit their god for all the good stuff and blame people for all the bad while ignoring their own claim that their god made it all."

      As I hope I've demonstrated above, just because God is the author of matter, it makes little sense to therefore automatically blame Him for everything. If I stole your wallet, would you blame me or my great, great, great, great grandmother? My existence is, after all, contingent upon her, her decisions, DNA, parenting style...

      Also, I don't think it really needs to be argued that human beings are flawed, fallible creatures. I think we can agree on this without argument (if we put aside the question of morality's genesis). However, BY DEFINITION, God has to be NONE of these things. Therefore, if anything goes wrong, isn't it only logical to blame the human agency? You may deny the existence of God, but wouldn't you have to admit that IF He did exist then it would make sense to blame frail, weak-willed humans rather than the Almighty God?

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    7. >To believe this statement would render EVERYTHING God's fault the ENTIRE time.
      Yes. That isn't right?

      Look you can't have it both ways, either your god made everything and knew everything was going to happen or didn't.
      Which is it?

      >I think one could only truly hold to this logic if one denied the entire concept of free-will.

      No, we still have choice, only your god already knows what choice will be made and what the results will be.
      Or is it not all-knowing?

      As I hope I've demonstrated above, just because God is the author of matter, it makes little sense to therefore automatically blame Him for everything.

      Once again did your go make everything? Does your god know everything? If so then how cannot it be to blame for everything?

      You theists are very quick to credit your god with the good but have this weird refusal to accept that it also made the bad.

      >If I stole your wallet, would you blame me or my great, great, great, great grandmother?

      If your grandmother was an all powerful diety who claimed to have made the cosmos, everything in it and claimed to know everything that was going to happen, then yes, it would all ultimately be her fault.

      >Also, I don't think it really needs to be argued that human beings are flawed, fallible creatures.

      They sure are.

      Let's say my grandmother made cars with artificial intelligence and free will like Knight Rider but every third car she made exploded killing the passengers and a few bystanders, who would be to blame? The cars or the grandmother?

      >if we put aside the question of morality's genesis.

      Let's not because that's my point, your god is the genesis for EVERYTHING including morality (or the lack of) wallet thieves and exploding cars. If your god made everything it made evil.

      Yes or no?

      >, if anything goes wrong, isn't it only logical to blame the human agency?

      Oh of course it is, that's what I do, it's you lot that seem to think mythological creatures are real and behind creation but you have this cognitive dissonance that ignores what your own religion teaches! Your god made everything therefore it made evil, I'm not sure if I can put it any simpler.

      >You may deny the existence of God, but wouldn't you have to admit that IF He did exist then it would make sense to blame frail, weak-willed humans rather than the Almighty God?

      So your god is almighty yet it's responsible for nothing?

      If your god were real it would make perfect sense to blame it for everything because it did everything.

      Again, if I'm wrong about that then please say so.

      Delete
  31. More of the same. God can't exist because He sucks.

    What I'm telling you is God did not screw it up. Man screwed it up. Every evil act done is done by man not God.

    God has provided a narrow path to achieve serenity. When you're poor and powerless and starving, in suffering we are at peace--a peace only achieved when we are good, because He is good, the author of good.

    God is both merciful and just. If He compromised our free will He would be neither. If evil didn't exist, He could not say I am Merciful. If evil didn't exist, He could not say I am Just.

    You are taken aback that He allegedly appeared to so few. I'm shocked He revealed Himself at all.

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  32. >More of the same. God can't exist because He sucks.

    Well I think I'm saying a bit more than that, I'm pointing out that your god's plans don't seem to work or at least not very well and not without bloodshed.

    Do you think when Jesus was declaring his Church that he planned for the Reformation Wars?

    >What I'm telling you is God did not screw it up. Man screwed it up. Every evil act done is done by man not God.

    And man was made by your god right? So how is it not to blame? When it was making mankind dind't it know how flawed it all was going to be?
    See that's the problem with saying your god is all powerful, knowing and perfect, it's creation isn't! You can say it's all man's fault but since man was made by your god doesn't it hold ultimate responsibility?

    It seems like theists want to give their god credit for all the good stuff and blame mankind for all the bad yet your god made it all so I'm not sure why the division of blame.

    Wasn't Jesus coming some sort of way to fix things? Did it? From what I can tell nothing changed.

    >God has provided a narrow path to achieve serenity.

    Why? Why does it have to be narrow or wide or anything? Why not just make things right the first time out? Is that beyond your god's power?

    >When you're poor and powerless and starving, in suffering we are at peace--a peace only achieved when we are good, because He is good, the author of good.

    Hmm, no, not really but I understand that "suffering" is part of the Catholic doctrine, I guess the idea is that the more you suffer now the better things will be in the afterlife which really doesn't make a lot of sense.

    Your god is all powerful right? Yet it seems to have set out these arbitrary rules before being nice to people. Why?

    There are people who are at perfect peace who are not good and if your god is the "author of good" then who made the bad? Since your god made everything I can only assume it is as well.

    >God is both merciful and just.

    That would be the god that flooded the planet because he was angry with his creation from behaving how it made it? The one who threw Adam and Eve out of Paradise for its own mistake? How do you figure?

    > If He compromised our free will He would be neither.

    I'm not asking it to do anything with free will, I am asking it to be realistic and sensible. Sacrificing itself to itself is neither.

    > If evil didn't exist, He could not say I am Merciful.

    > If evil didn't exist, He could not say I am Just.

    So your god made evil to make itself good?

    >You are taken aback that He allegedly appeared to so few. I'm shocked He revealed Himself at all.

    I don't think it's revealed itself at all but according to the descriptions of it and its demands it wants everyone to worship it. To achieve this goal all it would have to do is make itself real and so far it's done nothing of the sort, quite the opposite.

    And the results, the point you keep avoiding, is conflict among people who disagree on the nature and details of your god. Real things rarely engender such reactions. No one has gone to war over 1+1=2 or other undeniable facts.

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  33. 1+1=2 only when there are agreed upon rules regarding the undefined/undefinable. A math proof since you like those:

    if a=b, then a^2=ab, and then it's a matter of course that a^2-b^2=ab-b^2. Factoring yields, (a-b)(a+b)=b(a-b).

    Uh oh.

    That means a+b=b, and since a=b, b+b=b,

    or

    2b=1b

    or 2=1

    Now the fallacy here is that when we divided by (a-b) we are dividing by 0 which is an undefined value.

    Mathematical proofs work only in the context of agreed on universal rules. Part of the rule is stating there's a place in cosmology for the undefined and the infinite.

    Bringing the conversation back to God, we are trying to penetrate the darkness.

    So far you are saying God couldn't exist as I conceive of Him because He isn't a Divine Fascist Micromanager constantly intervening in our lives to save us from ourselves.

    And somehow He is responsible for our evil.

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  34. Yes, that's nice about the math, it's interesting that you'll go in depth on my quick example but refuse to apply such scrutiny to my actual points.

    >So far you are saying God couldn't exist as I conceive of Him because He isn't a Divine Fascist Micromanager constantly intervening in our lives to save us from ourselves.

    No, I'm saying your god isn't real because nothing about it is realistic. I have brought up several specific examples of this, you haven't addressed them, why is that?

    At any rate didn't your god send Jesus / itself in Jesus form down and say "accept him/me as your personal saviour or he/I will throw you into Hell" so doesn't that at least smack of "Divine Fascist Micromanager"? See your god does interfere with us but not in any way that leaves reliable witnesses or evidence. Why doesn't it do it properly so there isn't any doubt? How many times will you ignore this question? You can say you don't know, that would be more than fair by the way.

    But do you see what I mean about all the contradictions you need to ignore to believe in your religion?

    >And somehow He is responsible for our evil.

    This is how this chat will go, I will answer for you as I have had it many times, if I say something as you that you disagree with please say so.

    Me: Yes or no, did you god create everything?

    You: Yes, my god made everything.

    Me: Is evil something?

    You: Yes, evil is something.

    Me: So your god made evil.

    You: No, evil is the absence of my god.

    Me: Yes, but that absence is still a result your god's creation. If I dig a hole and someone falls into it I am responsible as I removed the ground that could have prevented the fall. Furthermore isn't your god everywhere? Does it choose to be absent?

    At this point I always get silence but I would be pleasantly surprised by an answer as thoughtful as your math one.

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  35. I'm sure this isn't as deep as you hoped for:

    Let's say I build a china shop. And I make all of the china in the China shop. Then my son goes in there and purposefully breaks all of the china.

    We axiomatically know that my son is responsible for this bad act, and that he is an evil son. We cannot, however, logically and with certainty deduce if I'm a bad father or a good father.

    Take another scenario.

    I'm at my son's baseball game. He stays on the bench the whole time, and never plays. They lose. My son lost, even though he never played. He's part of the losing team.

    *If* the Catholic faith is true, then Adam was created good. He was given free will. He decided to use that free will to lose the game. We are humans and therefore on the losing team.

    Being merciful, God provides a double or nothing shot at redemption. The rules are gratuitous, we aren't owed them. We are on the losing team.

    Or to put it another way, if I owed you $10 and you said, you know what Dan, you can pay me $5 and we'll call it even. And if Joe owes you $100 and you forgive his entire debt, all the while Restless Pilgrim owes you $10,000 and you don't forgive a penny.

    Now in that scenario is it fair for me to call you a jerk because you only gratuitiously helped me out for the other $5? Can Restless call you a jerk? He owes you the money!

    "“Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

    47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

    How is that unfair?

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    1. >We axiomatically know that my son is responsible for this bad act, and that he is an evil son. We cannot, however, logically and with certainty deduce if I'm a bad father or a good father.

      True enough because you are not an omnipotent god, you're just a man whose influence over their child is limited to your abilities and experience.

      Your god has no such limitations. Yes or no?

      > Adam was created good. He was given free will. He decided to use that free will to lose the game. We are humans and therefore on the losing team.

      Okay, your god he makes Paradise, makes Adam and Eve and the garden and everything is fine, he tells them "Eat everything BUT this fruit. This one right here, this one right in front of you, on this tree. Sure I could make it so you couldn't eat it, I could put it on a mountain or make it a rock but I will put it right here. DON'T EAT IT."

      The your all powerful all knowing god wanders off and lets a talking snake mess up the whole thing.

      Then it has the gall to come back with angry questions! Like suddenly its omnipotence was turned off? That it didn't know exactly what happened? It was blaming two child-like mortals for being tricked by Satan! A being that is quite powerful and full of guile no?

      It could have stopped the Satan snake yes? It could have done an infinite amount of things to prevent the whole "sin" from happening in the first place. It must have known what was going to happen right? It being all knowing and all.

      So let's say you come home to your children with a doughnut and you call your kids into the kitchen and you put it on a plate. You tell them "This doughnut is full of poison, I am going to leave it right here, DO NOT EAT IT." and then you go off to work. When you come home your yard is full of cops and firemen and media. Turns out the older crazy kid next door came over and talked your kids into eating the poisoned doughnut! They are dead.

      Now, whose fault is it?

      The kids?

      The next door neighbor? Sure, there's some blame there but who would get arrested?

      >Being merciful, God provides a double or nothing shot at redemption.

      So after your god puts us in an situation of its own creation it offers to save us? From itself? And that makes sense to you? I've made this point before and like all my other ones you just ignore it. I guess unless you feel confident in the subject like math you won't even dare to address it.

      >The rules are gratuitous, we aren't owed them. We are on the losing team.

      Rules are arbitrary and nonsensical. Why did your god need scarifies? What is it about blood that gives your god the ability to forgive? You should read your Bible more, see just how weird your god's "rules" are. The foreskin business is a good start.

      > How is that unfair?

      Would that be your defense at your manslaughter trial over the death of your two kids, Adam and Eve? "You honor! I told them that the doughnut was poisoned! I told them not to eat it, it's not my fault the kid next door talked them into it!"

      If you were on the jury would you accept that or would you think jail time necessary?

      The bit you refuse to even acknowledge must less address is that your god is all powerful, nothing has to be anyway that it doesn't want it to be so everything must be as it wants it / knew it was going to be.

      That's a self-evident logic, can you please tell me what part of that doesn't make sense to you?

      Delete
  36. I'm familiar with the argument, which more formally is written:

    1. God exists.
    2. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and
    perfectly good.
    3. A perfectly good being would want to
    prevent all evils.
    4. An omniscient being knows every way in
    which evils can come into existence.
    5. An omnipotent being, who knows every
    way in which an evil can come into
    existence, has the power to prevent that
    evil from coming into existence.
    6. A being who knows every way in which an
    evil can come into existence, who is able to
    prevent that evil from coming into
    existence, and who wants to do so, would
    prevent the existence of that evil.
    7. If there exists an omnipotent, omniscient,
    and perfectly good being, then no evil
    exists.
    8. Evil exists (logical contradiction).

    Joe did a great job addressing that last year.

    http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2011/10/turning-problem-of-evil-on-its-head.html?m=1

    The reason it is not logically sound is that when we say God is omnipotent we do not mean God's power is without limits. God can't make square circles or make 2+2=5. He can't commit evil for the purpose of not allowing evil to exist at all--a logical impossibility.

    In Catholic cosmology, God created humans and angels with free will. They are promised free will in a sense. God can't break his promise of freedom to save us from ourselves.

    If God forced us to be good, then He could not be good by His own measure of goodness that has a natural and healthy respect for freewill.

    Say for example I owned a company and it was good, and I gave it to my son. My son makes a mess of things. He cheats customers, abuses employees, etc. and he's driving the company into the ground. I couldn't walk back in and take-over. I would be trespassing.

    But I could write a book that's a good leadership manual. And I could invite a few employees to lunch and give them a few tips.

    And I could be there whenever anybody called for my aid.

    And I could buy the company back even without my son's permission once he's hauled off to court.

    And when I'm back, I could fire the employees I've never talked to that decided they were going to use company money for personal gain. I could promote employees I never talked to who were honest, and hardworking.

    I would deal harshly with employees who scorned my advice and my book. I would reward those who tried to implement it the best they could.

    But absolutely I could not ignore the contract that sold the company at the beginning. I would be sued for damages!

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    1. >The reason it is not logically sound is that when we say God is omnipotent we do not mean God's power is without limits.

      om•nip•o•tent ( m-n p -t nt)
      adj.
      Having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful. See Usage Note at infinite.
      n.
      1. One having unlimited power or authority: the bureaucratic omnipotents.
      2. Omnipotent God. Used with the.

      >God can't make square circles or make 2+2=5.

      Then it's not omnipotent.

      But hang on, didn't it make the Earth stand still in the Bible and then start it up again without the whole planet shattering into a bazillion pieces under the stress? Didn't your god die and then come back to life? Didn't your god make the universe in 6 days and then made it look like it took billions of years?

      I would put those physics and reality defying events well on par with square circles and askew math.

      See? This is the "doublethink" I was talking about.

      Are you going to acknowledge / comment on that or are you going to skip over it like the poisoned doughnut?

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    2. > He can't commit evil for the purpose of not allowing evil to exist at all--a logical impossibility.

      Well that's debatable, dropping the bomb on Hiroshima was arguably "evil" (innocent people were killed) but it stopped a greater evil (and probably saved more innocent lives, certainly allied soldiers) but that's all academic.

      Your god could have simply not made evil in the first place, yet it chose to. Why? You say it doesn't like evil yet it made the stuff! Once again, doublethink. A strong sign of something not being true.

      >In Catholic cosmology, God created humans and angels with free will.

      Sure, but your god also knew what they were going to do with the free will, he could have made it so they wouldn't have felt the need to make the wrong choices.

      Furthermore your god's idea of free will is a little skewed, we are free to reject it but if we do it will throw us into Hell to be tortured forever and ever. That's not a choice isn't it?

      > God can't break his promise of freedom to save us from ourselves.

      What promise was this? Can you please cite it?

      Furthermore it's not saving us from us, it's saving us from itself. It's the threat. Take my case, I don’t believe your god is real for all the reasons I've listed here (most of which you have not commented on so I take that to mean you think them accurate). This isn't an exercise in free will, it's the only possible conclusion my experience and brain will let me reach. Yet your god is still going to treat me like deadwood!

      Does that seem sensible much less fair to you?

      >If God forced us to be good, then He could not be good by His own measure of goodness that has a natural and healthy respect for freewill.

      Once again, please show me where your god has said such things. And as I pointed out threatening someone with torture for not doing what you want isn't exactly a "healthy respect for free will". Quite the opposite in fact.

      >But I could write a book that's a good leadership manual. And I could invite a few employees to lunch and give them a few tips.

      And let's say you give your tips and they go back to work and then it all goes bad! The employees don't quite get what you mean, they start fighting over it, soon the company is split in two, both factions working against each other to the point of violence. They go back to you and ask for clarification and you say nothing. This aggravates the situation because you came before and spoke quite a bit. People are now really confused!

      A new employee comes along and points out all the flaws and contradictions in your tips, they burn him alive. You just sit back and shrug saying "Well, I did all I can do! Free will!"

      Have you noticed how I answer all your points and you just skip over mine? Is that because you don’t have any answers? Because you agree? Because you simply do not want to think about it?

      I'd really like to know your thoughts on the dead kids and doughnut thing. Who would be to blame? The children? The parent? The next door neighbor?

      Delete
    3. >>God can't make square circles or make 2+2=5.
      > Then it's not omnipotent.

      Will the dictionary definition you've quoted provide the subtle nuance of Catholic theology? Nope. You can't impose a definition of "omnipotent" upon us and then rip it to shreds if that's not what we mean by the word

      (just like you can't say things like "6 days and then made it look like it took billions of years" - take that up with Fundamentalist Creationists)

      If one used the definition of "omnipotent" that you provided then, since God is all-powerful, He could chose to simply not be, since there is nothing He cannot do. However, that produces a internal logical contradiction since God is, in Himself, the very act of being.

      An all-powerful Deity cannot be both all-good and all-evil at the same time. It's the Law of Non-contradiction.

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    4. >Will the dictionary definition you've quoted provide the subtle nuance of Catholic theology?

      Ah subtle nuance, thank you Bill Clinton!

      So your god is all powerful except for the things it can't do. Gotchya.

      >just like you can't say things like "6 days and then made it look like it took billions of years" - take that up with Fundamentalist Creationists

      Excuse me but they can read, the Bible is quite clear, six days. So like omnipotent the word's meaning can be modified to make it convenient for your beliefs? 6 days can mean 14.5 billion years?

      >If one used the definition of "omnipotent" that you provided

      I didn't provide anything, that's what the word means.

      >then, since God is all-powerful, He could chose to simply not be, since there is nothing He cannot do.

      Right. So your all powerful god, that doesn't like evil, chose to make evil and not do anything about it because…? It likes to get angry about stuff?

      >However, that produces a internal logical contradiction since God is, in Himself, the very act of being.

      Can you please clarify, I have no idea what you're saying here.

      >An all-powerful Deity cannot be both all-good and all-evil at the same time. It's the Law of Non-contradiction.

      Well then it's not all powerful but that's not my point, the point I will make again, your god made evil, it was a choice and that choice seems to have upset it and caused its own creation to fail or at least fail to meet its expectations and THIS somehow isn't its fault. It's ours and we have to accept that your god sacrificed itself to itself otherwise we will be punished for it.

      That of course makes little sense so please show me what I've gotten wrong here.

      Delete
    5. > Ah subtle nuance, thank you Bill Clinton!

      No...we're talking about the meaning of words. You chose a definition that you then picked apart. That's not our definition, it's a straw man.

      > Excuse me but they can read, the Bible is quite clear, six days.

      So you're the interpreter of Scripture now, not the Magisterium of the Catholic Church? Catholics trust the interpretation of the Magisterium, not your interpretation. You interpret Scripture and then attack your own interpretation. Straw man.

      If you want to fight people who believe that God put fossils in the ground to confuse us, I'd suggest you go talk with some Fundamentalists.

      > that's what the word means

      Words have different meaning and different subtleties, dependent upon the context. You are using the word in a way the Church does not.

      >>However, that produces a internal logical contradiction since God is, in Himself, the very act of being.
      > Can you please clarify, I have no idea what you're saying here.

      I'm making the point that if God could really do absolutely anything then He could make Himself not exist, which is logically inconsistent.

      > That of course makes little sense so please show me what I've gotten wrong here.

      I think the problem you're having is that you're trying to apply a coarse definition of "omnipotent" and then ignoring principles of logic such as the Law of Non-Contradiction.

      Delete
    6. > No...we're talking about the meaning of words. You chose a definition that you then picked apart. That's not our definition, it's a straw man.

      Um, no, it's the dictionary definition. So your god is omnipotent except for things it can't do / chooses not to?

      >So you're the interpreter of Scripture now, not the Magisterium of the Catholic Church? Catholics trust the interpretation of the Magisterium, not your interpretation. You interpret Scripture and then attack your own interpretation. Straw man.



      There's a different way to interpret the number 6?

      Er, could you enlighten me as to what that could be?

      Oh and has the Holy See always held the position that the six days was not literal?

      >If you want to fight people who believe that God put fossils in the ground to confuse us, I'd suggest you go talk with some Fundamentalists.

      So, only fundamentalists, who are wrong, believe your god when it says stuff?

      The Bible says six days, what else could six days mean other than six days?

      > Words have different meaning and different subtleties, dependent upon the context. You are using the word in a way the Church does not.

      What else could six mean!?!?

      >>I'm making the point that if God could really do absolutely anything then He could make Himself not exist, which is logically inconsistent.

      I agree yet it would seem that's exactly what your god has done because there isn't any evidence at all for its existence.

      So.. that would mean...?

      > I think the problem you're having is that you're trying to apply a coarse definition of "omnipotent" and then ignoring principles of logic such as the Law of Non-Contradiction.

      The dictionary definition is coarse? Huh, okay can you provide me with the church approved smooth and subtle one?

      Delete
    7. Is the simple definition of "omnipotent" the careful theological definition used by the Church? No, so stop using it.

      Yes, there are several different ways to interpret the six days. I would invite you to read a Catholic commentary on the book of Genesis to see the different ways in which this has been understood (Jerome's commentary is particularly good).

      Seriously, please stop it with the straw men.

      >>I'm making the point that if God could really do absolutely anything then He could make Himself not exist, which is logically inconsistent.
      > I agree...

      So you agree that such a definition of "omnipotent" would be logically problematic?! If you can admit that, then surely you'd have to admit that a more nuanced understanding of "omnipotent" is necessary, that certain "restrictions" would have to exist?

      Delete
    8. >Is the simple definition of "omnipotent" the careful theological definition used by the Church? No, so stop using it.

      Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

      'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

      'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

      'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

      'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'

      >Yes, there are several different ways to interpret the six days.

      No, there isn't.

      This isn't a strawman and there is no other way to interpret six days Sun up sun down, a day, that's how it's always been and how it will always be until it goes nova and your church agreed with me right up until the point that science came along and said otherwise.

      Of course the Holy See burnt a few of them alive before coming around.

      You skipped over my question, of course, did your church always say that 6 days didn't mean 6 days or is this a new development? Like the whole Earth revolving around the sun deal?

      I have no doubt that there is all kinds of Catholic commentary that tries to square the circle as to prevent the obvious questions such an error would beg.

      That's why fundies insist that it was six days, they know if one part of the Bible is wrong then other parts could likewise and that isn't acceptable.

      You on the other hand are a bit more realistic and understand, like your church (who are superb marketers I'll give them that) that it would be foolish to insist that the universe was made in such a time frame so you lean more to the pick and choose. Bits of your Bible that you can't defend are "reinterpreted" and the bits you can because we don't have rocks to prove otherwise, why those are spot on!

      Rather convenient that.

      >Seriously, please stop it with the straw men.

      I'm not, this is a cute dodge but a touch pathetic because even if somehow six days means a billions years or whatever your church has told you it means there's still the problem with your god thinking the stars and our own sun being two radically different things, the order in which it lists creation, the skipping of stuff like dinosaurs and countless other errors.

      That I'm sure will have you yelling strawman! if I were to bring them up. Pretty much your only bastion it seems.

      To which I reply, no matter how thin you slice it, it's still baloney.

      >>So you agree that such a definition of "omnipotent" would be logically problematic?! If you can admit that, then surely you'd have to admit that a more nuanced understanding of "omnipotent" is necessary, that certain "restrictions" would have to exist?

      My goodness! You could work the Romney campaign with such careful parsing of what I said.

      Your god is either all powerful or not, you can't have it both ways but of course you need it both ways for it to make sense.
      Doublethink! Can't have a religion without it.

      Delete
    9. >>Yes, there are several different ways to interpret the six days.
      >No, there isn't.

      Apparently nobody told the Early Church Fathers this. I really do love it when atheists tell people of faith how they should interpret their own holy texts.

      > there is no other way to interpret six days Sun up sun down, a day, that's how it's always been

      Interesting, given that the Genesis account talks about the sun being created on the fourth "day". How were days counted before then?

      > That's why fundies insist that it was six days, they know if one part of the Bible is wrong then other parts could likewise and that isn't acceptable.

      Your sentence here would appear to suggest that you do, in fact, recognize that the opinion you're attacking is not the Catholic one. If so, why persist?

      > I have no doubt that there is all kinds of Catholic commentary that tries to square the circle as to prevent the obvious questions such an error would beg.

      I thought you were trying to refute what the Catholic Church actually teaches. If you don't really want to do this then under no circumstances read any Catholic book.

      > My goodness! You could work the Romney campaign with such careful parsing of what I said.

      I wrote: I'm making the point that if God could really do absolutely anything then He could make Himself not exist, which is logically inconsistent.

      You wrote: I agree yet it would seem that's exactly what your god has done because there isn't any evidence at all for its existence.

      You response was composed of (i) an affirmation (ii) a dig. In the absence of any direct interaction with my argument, I assumed that the affirmation concerned my previous statement.

      > Your god is either all powerful or not, you can't have it both ways but of course you need it both ways for it to make sense.

      If you wish to over-simply the subject, avoid tricky issues such as free will and also ignore the constraints of logic, sure.

      > Doublethink! Can't have a religion without it.

      Fundamentalism! Because tackling Catholicism is just too darn hard...

      We've gone round in circles a few times now so I think it's time to draw this to a close. I hope you come back to this blog the next time Joe writes an atheism-related article.

      David.

      Delete
    10. >>Apparently nobody told the Early Church Fathers this.

      I'm pretty sure they knew what a day was and how to count them.

      > I really do love it when atheists tell people of faith how they should interpret their own holy texts.
      I love it when theists decide that words mean different things in order to protect their faith.

      > Interesting, given that the Genesis account talks about the sun being created on the fourth "day". How were days counted before then?
      An excellent question! Just one of the many flaws and bits of ill logic found in your holy text which curiously have all the hallmarks of mythology, like gods making worlds rather quickly.

      Ya think there might be a connection?

      > Your sentence here would appear to suggest that you do, in fact, recognize that the opinion you're attacking is not the Catholic one. If so, why persist?

      Oh I know it's not the Catholic one, the Catholic one is to pretend that the ill logic, inconsistencies with reality and all the other stuff that doesn't make sense is your god being strange and mysterious or some other silly fig-leaf.

      > I thought you were trying to refute what the Catholic Church actually teaches. If you don't really want to do this then under no circumstances read any Catholic book.

      Huh, so my original point was that your god was a poor communicator an that has lead to schism, I've been told I am wrong about that and yet here we are, your god's holy perfect words need to be interpreted further by its mortal agents.

      So basically what you're saying is "When my god said this, it really meant this!".

      And you don’t see a problem there?

      >You response was composed of (i) an affirmation (ii) a dig. In the absence of any direct interaction with my argument, I assumed that the affirmation concerned my previous statement.

      I was pointing out that your god isn't real using your own "logic". It's interesting that you chose to view it as me agreeing with you.

      > If you wish to over-simply the subject, avoid tricky issues such as free will and also ignore the constraints of logic, sure.

      I have continuously addressed free will here, you just keep ignoring what I said. Your god's idea of free will is "Love me and please ignore your own intellect, that I made, that tells you I'm not real or I will have you tortured forever".

      Not really free is it?

      > Fundamentalism! Because tackling Catholicism is just too darn hard...

      No, it's pretty easy actually. Not much of it makes sense.

      Once again, why did your god "sacrifice" itself to itself again? Funny, that's the heart of your religion yet you can't explain it.

      >We've gone round in circles a few times now so I think it's time to draw this to a close.

      So that would be you're not going to explain when your church went from the literal six days to this mysterious interpretation of six days into 14 billion years of which you speak? Not going to address my point that YOUR CHURCH USED TO BURN PEOPLE ALIVE for saying the Bible wasn't literally true?

      You know that fact right? Human beings were tied to piles of wood that were set on fire and they died screaming for suggesting that the Earth revolved around the sun.

      That's quite the heritage your religion has, tell me are you proud of that? Did Jesus look down and say "Yup, that's some deadwood that needed burning right there." Did Mary weep with laughter as the man shrieked in agony, his nostrils filling with his own charring flesh? The Popes sure liked it, after all the mob enjoys a good lynching and it kept everyone else in line.

      Of course you want to draw it to a close, you might think too hard about this stuff and then something terrible could happen.

      Delete
    11. Salvage,

      1) You’re still sticking to the idea that a day to God has to be 24 hours, or else we’re just deciding “that words mean different things in order to protect their faith.” You’re still wrong. Scripture explicitly distinguishes between a “day,” in the eyes of God, and a “day,” from the perspective of the earth. We find this distinction in both the Old Testament (Psalm 90:4) and the New (2 Peter 3:8).

      Furthermore, this distinction makes absolute sense to anyone who understands science. A day on Mercury isn’t the same length of time as a day on Earth. So why must a day for a timeless and immaterial God be the same length of time as a day on Earth?

      So no, this isn’t us reinventing Scripture to avoid your critique. This is your critique missing the mark of what Scripture actually says about the “days” of Creation. Your inability to acknowledge or address what Catholics actually believe does you no service.

      2) Where are you getting the claim that the Church used to burn people alive for claiming that the Bible isn’t always to be understood literally? It’s completely false. The “four senses of Scripture” is the way that the early Christians read Scripture: as literal (historical), as allegorical, as tropological (or moral), and analogical. Nobody, not even the fiercest Fundamentalist, reads the whole of Scripture as literal, and nobody ever has. I can think of specific examples in which early Christians even made fun of that idea. So no, Catholics have never interpreted Scripture to be always-literal, nor have they killed anyone for denying this idea.

      You can’t just make up beliefs, ascribe them to us, and then refute them. If you’re only going to debate strawmen, this conversation is a waste of time.

      I.X.,

      Joe

      Delete
    12. 1) You’re still sticking to the idea that a day to God has to be 24 hours

      Sure, I imagine that time would flow very differently for a god but your god didn't tell the story of genesis to itself did it? It told it for people so wouldn't it know that eventually us sad mortals would figure out carbon dating, how rocks are formed and cooled, the orbits of the planets and the speed of light and realize it's all much older?

      That creates atheists! Which your god throws into Hell right?

      What a monster! If only it had made Genesis accurate rather than… whatever it is you think it is.


      >Furthermore, this distinction makes absolute sense to anyone who understands science. A day on Mercury isn’t the same length of time as a day on Earth.

      So… the Bible was written for people not on Earth?

      Do you still not get my point about your god being a poor communicator?


      >So no, this isn’t us reinventing Scripture to avoid your critique.

      No, it is.

      Once again, when did your church realize that six days wasn't six days?

      2) Where are you getting the claim that the Church used to burn people alive for claiming that the Bible isn’t always to be understood literally? It’s completely false.

      Uh huh:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno

      There are more of course but you don’t want to think about that, just tell yourself that poor Giordano was the exception that back in the day a Pope welcomed dissent and would never raise a hand to anyone who didn't agree with Mother Church.

      >So no, Catholics have never interpreted Scripture to be always-literal, nor have they killed anyone for denying this idea.

      And the "Borgias" is complete fiction, none of that ever happened, just like the child rape cover up, the mafia money laundering , the alliance with the Italian Fascists and the German Nazis. The Church certainly did not stoke the fires of anti-Semitism, launched no Crusades or any wars of any kind, certainly has not amassed a fortune as a result (because Jesus didn't like lucre don’t you know?) and never told Africa that condoms don’t stop AIDS.

      All strawmen! A field of the suckers invented whole cloth by me!

      Delete
  37. I have no idea. The knowledge of good and evil tree didn't cause their fall. If it was a Snickers bar the act of disobedienceby created sin nature inhereted by all.

    The poison donut only works as an argument because of the poison. Knowledge of morality is good not poison.

    It's not really an analogy to Catholic cosmology at all. I didn't address it until pressed out of embarrassment for you.

    I'll address the other points later.

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    Replies
    1. >I have no idea. The knowledge of good and evil tree didn't cause their fall.

      Wha? Now I'm totally confused! What is the "original sin" then? What caused the fall and messed everything up and was totally not your god's fault?

      >If it was a Snickers bar the act of disobedienceby created sin nature inhereted by all.

      Guh? So it was doing the thing that your god told them not to do that they wouldn't have done if not for the talking snake? Still leads back to your god's responsibility doesn't it?

      >The poison donut only works as an argument because of the poison. Knowledge of morality is good not poison.

      >It's not really an analogy to Catholic cosmology at all.

      Oh, I see, can you provide me with a link to the version you're talking about? I will readjust my analogy accordingly.

      Delete
  38. Romans 5:19

    The fruit isn't the cause of original sin, it's Adam's disobedience.

    ReplyDelete
  39. That he never would have done if he hadn't been talked into it by the snake that for some reason your god let into Eden? So your god, what? Set Adam up to test him?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Salvage,

    A number of the questions you’re raising are legitimate, but I think that there’s something of an impasse here. You raised objections to the Catholic view on six day Creation and God’s omnipotence, only to discover that you misunderstood the Catholic view on both subjects. Now you have two options: either engage the actual Catholic position, or keep railing against straw men, while lamenting that we don’t hold to the idiotic version of Catholicism that you imagined we do.

    It may be cathartic to do the latter, but it’s hardly a worthwhile use of anyone’s time. Above, you actually complain that our beliefs are nuanced! By this logic, we should reject science, because quantum physics is a bit more complex than I might imagine from looking up “flavor” in the dictionary.

    The simple fact is that when Catholics talk about God’s “omnipotence,” we mean His ability to do everything possible. Aquinasspecifically defines His omnipotence in this way, and cites to Aristotle. This isn’t a “humpty dumpty” view where we simply redefine what words mean. This is what “omnipotence” means in the context of philosophy (again, Aquinas cites Aristotle, and both of these gentlemen predate Merriam and Webster by a few years). The fact that omnipotence could be defined differently in other contexts is irrelevant, just as it’s irrelevant that flavor means something different to quantum physicists than bakers.

    Are you familiar with that obnoxious chain e-mail about how a young Albert Einstein allegedly outsmarted an atheist professor? Besides being completely false, I find the e-mail grating because it answers about the stupidest form of atheism possible, and I imagine that as an atheist, it’d be even more obnoxious for you to see your views misrepresented so grossly (although, ironically, you do fall back on a couple of the arguments that the imaginary professor fell back on: both you, and the imaginary professor apparently misunderstand the privation view of evil). The point I’m making is that if you insist on treating Catholicism the way that the Einstein e-mail treats atheism, you’re wasting your own time. God bless you.

    I.X.,

    Joe

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    Replies
    1. >You raised objections to the Catholic view on six day Creation and God’s omnipotence, only to discover that you misunderstood the Catholic view on both subjects.

      I guess I have, let's start with the six days, when your god said six days it meant 14.5 billion years? Why didn't it say what the number actually was?

      When did the Catholic view go from the literal six days to this alleged figurative interpretation? I suspect it was right about the same time science proved it beyond any reasonable doubt but I would be delighted to find out that it was earlier, was it?

      Is this true of everything in the Bible? That none of it means what it seems to say it means or only the bits that can be proven like the age of the Earth?

      > we don’t hold to the idiotic version of Catholicism that you imagined we do.

      You believe that your god sacrificed itself to itself so it wouldn't be angry with its creation for behaving the way it made it / the way it knew it was going to behave.

      Is that a fair assessment? If not can you tell me what I've gotten wrong?

      Can you also explain why nothing Jesus did was unique or original? That it was all done in myths before him?

      Can you explain why there is no evidence for Jesus outside of the Bible? Weird how your god came to Earth and none noticed for a few decades.

      Can you explain why Jesus vanished in the exact same way dead people / people that never were do? What was the point of him coming back to life if all he did was go away?

      >It may be cathartic to do the latter, but it’s hardly a worthwhile use of anyone’s time. Above, you actually complain that our beliefs are nuanced!

      They are not "nuanced" that's what you like to tell yourself, what they really are is doublethink as I have explained.

      >By this logic, we should reject science, because quantum physics is a bit more complex than I might imagine from looking up “flavor” in the dictionary.

      Your religion is hardly complex, it's like all the ones before it and all the ones after it. At any rate Pokémon is complex don't make it real or logical. In fact making things complex is a handy way to cover up flaws, isn't that what lawyers and politicians like to do? And why make it complex? Wouldn't making it simple be well simpler? Aren't true things always the simplest?

      > The fact that omnipotence could be defined differently in other contexts is irrelevant, just as it’s irrelevant that flavor means something different to quantum physicists than bakers.

      Delete
    2. So that would be your god isn't all powerful?

      > and I imagine that as an atheist, it’d be even more obnoxious for you to see your views misrepresented

      And you would imagine wrong. I know theists like to view atheist as a mirror opposite but it simply isn't so.

      There are no such things as gods.

      That's all atheism is there are no silly sophistic games, gods are not real things, they never have been and never will be.

      You too are 99% atheist.

      Do you think Zeus is real?

      Do you think Odin is real?

      Do you think the Dragon God of China is real?

      Why not?

      Well apply those reason to your own god and you'll be 100%.

      But theists, never, ever do that, too scary to even think it.

      No, no, your god is not different from all those other gods in any other way save you believe in it. I know another "nuanced" way theists view other religions is to insist that a) they REALLY didn't believe in their gods or b) they were worshiping your god they just have the details wrong.

      > if you insist on treating Catholicism the way that the Einstein e-mail treats atheism, you’re wasting your own time. God bless you.

      Ah yes, the that's not MY religion you're talking about! dodge, classic.

      Only it is. Your god is the savage lunatic from the Bible that demanded war, blood and foreskins from its creation. I know one of the "nuanced" things Catholics and most modern Christians like to do is ignore all that OT stuff and insist that "Jesus changed everything!" except he didn't.

      Do you know the history of your church? Do you know that Christianity was spread and secured by war?

      So your god's bloodlust didn't change.

      No, you're typical theists, you pick and choose the bits you like and ignore the rest and when a jerk like me comes along and holds them right up to your face you try and whistle past it yelling over your shoulder "STRAWMAN!!!" as if somehow I made it all up and you could never believe anything so crazy!

      Then you go to your church and eat cracker that turns into your god after the priest has said the correct magic words.

      Or is that a straw man? Have I gotten that totally wrong as well? You do know that ritual predates Jesus by at least a 1,000 years right? When the pagans were doing it were they really eating their gods or was that all fake until Jesus?

      At any rate I respect fundamentalists, at least they're consistent and thus can be forgiven for their delusions.

      You that try and make the supernatural natural? Jam the square peg into the round hole? You're just liars and the fact that you lie to yourself is only the slightest of mitigating circumstance.

      Delete
    3. Salvage,

      You “asked”: When did the Catholic view go from the literal six days to this alleged figurative interpretation? I suspect it was right about the same time science proved it beyond any reasonable doubt but I would be delighted to find out that it was earlier, was it?

      No. St. Augustine described Genesis 1-2 as allegorical in the fourth century. I think that predates Chuck Darwin by a couple years, but you’re free to check my math there. As it is, the Church has never taken any official stance on the age of the earth, or the precise length of the “days” Genesis 1-2.

      You’d be able to find these facts out if you actually researched what Catholics believe on the issue, rather than just telling us what we allegedly believe.

      The claims that everything Jesus did was already done before is false, as is the claim that there’s no evidence for Him outside of the Biblical accounts. These have been addressed repeatedly, but you appear to have overlooked or ignored these corrections. You’re just repeating a long-debunked canard that no respectable scholar holds today.

      And yeah, if you’ve got evidence for transubstantiation (instead of simply, say, ritual meals) 1,000 years before Christ, I’d love to hear it. Because that’s most definitely false.

      I.X.,

      Joe

      P.S. In response to Daniel, you “asked”: “I do hate to be pedantic but it's six day, on the seventh your god rested… wait, why would a god need to rest? Oh dear.”

      There is an easy answer here. God is establishing the pattern for the Saturday Sabbath, as Scripture tells us (Exodus 20:8-11). All of this is Christological, and brought to fulfillment in Jesus Christ, whose Body is in the Tomb on Holy Saturday.

      I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but you keep throwing out more arguments, and we keep answering them.  I think I speak for the others when I say that we’re more than happy to do this, if you’re interested in actually learning.  If you were a little less smug, and a little more humble, you might learn that Catholicism isn’t as crazy, stupid, or simple as you’ve been led to believe. But disavail yourself of the notion that your ignorance of Catholicism is going to somehow disprove our faith.

      Delete
    4. >No. St. Augustine described Genesis 1-2 as allegorical in the fourth century.

      Now this is cool, I didn't know about this at all! To be fair I don't pay much attention to saints, they're usually very silly so I spent my morning doing some quick Googling on the subject and indeed, here's what Auggy said (from Wikipedia):

      It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation.[

      Obviously a very clever man! I assume he read the whole Bible and realized just how crackers the whole thing is and that left him with an uncomfortable dichotomy so he gives permission to dismiss part of the Bible that would made Christians speak "idiotically". He may have invented spin!

      Alas, like most spin, that "solution" isn't very good because it still begs the question, why didn't your god write down what actually happened?

      Now I know you talked about time flowing differently for your god, which would be true enough for an infinite being but that doesn't square the circle because your god was writing to people about the Earth, using an incorrect timeframe was obviously counterproductive as I have explained.

      You could say well people were simple back then! They could understand billions, which really isn't true, the Greeks were well aware of large numbers and allegorically it would have been simple to say "a very long time" in all kinds of poetic ways.

      Delete
    5. So yes, I know Catholics don't believe in young Earth creationism but your Bible, the source of your religion most certainly does, despite latter reinterpretations and so do a lot of Christians.

      Which, once again, brings me back to and supports my original point: your god sucks at communication and this inability to say the truth has lead to schisms, war and evil which I thought your god was against.

      >I think that predates Chuck Darwin by a couple years, but you’re free to check my math there.

      Ah! Dang, your first paragraph shows me something I didn't know, which delighted me to no end because now I have something new to learn about, I will have to find a proper source on Augustine but then you go and drop down to plain old ignorance.

      Darwin said nothing about the origins of life, the Earth or anything that we are talking about, he figured out the broad strokes of evolution and genetics. The age of the Earth and Cosmos was not in his wheelhouse.

      >As it is, the Church has never taken any official stance on the age of the earth, or the precise length of the “days” Genesis 1-2.

      Yes, I'm getting the impression that they left that "mushy" but again the Bible is quite clear, 6 days was all she wrote.

      >You’d be able to find these facts out if you actually researched what Catholics believe on the issue, rather than just telling us what we allegedly believe.
      I listed a whole bunch of unbelievable things you do believe, no comment there?

      >The claims that everything Jesus did was already done before is false,
      Really? All I get is

      Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist.

      Ironic, no?

      Delete
    6. Alas it's true, everything from the "Slaughter of Innocence" (that never even happened) to him making loaves and fishes were done before.

      >as is the claim that there’s no evidence for Him outside of the Biblical accounts. These have been addressed repeatedly, but you appear to have overlooked or ignored these corrections.

      Uh, no, just as I have done with your I have addressed every point made to me. You guys are the skippers.

      Once again, we have countless records and physical evidence of Julius Caesar and his whole mob of family and friends, accounts from Spain to Egypt. We have nothing like that for Jesus, a god! Once again it took DECADES before anyone wrote anything down about him. Then it took another 300 years for his religion to come to the forefront and only after two very nasty wars. Then it was spread by even more wars!

      So your god likes war I take it?

      See I've made that point a few times and every one of you has ignored it. Guess you're taking Auggy's advice?

      >You’re just repeating a long-debunked canard that no respectable scholar holds today.

      Yes, historians all agree that Jesus was real! That there is overwhelming proof for his existence and you should have no problem providing some links to back that up.

      No, don't link to sources who talk about Christians a few hundred years after Christ, I don't dispute that there were such things. Actual historical evidence that is not in the Bible is what I'm looking for.

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    7. >And yeah, if you’ve got evidence for transubstantiation (instead of simply, say, ritual meals) 1,000 years before Christ, I’d love to hear it. Because that’s most definitely false.

      False like you mean your Church not burning scientists alive? I noticed you didn’t comment on Giordano Bruno. See that' s the difference between you and I, when I'm wrong (like with Augustine's acceptance that the Bible may not be literal some 1,200 years earlier than I thought) I go and learn as much as I can so I can stop being wrong, you? Well you just pretend it never happened.


      Let's see if you can learn:

      Scholars of comparative mythology identify both Dionysus and Jesus with the dying-and-returning god mythological archetype.[7] Other elements, such as the celebration by a ritual meal of bread and wine, also have parallels.[46] Powell, in particular, argues precursors to the Catholic notion of transubstantiation can be found in Dionysian religion.[46]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysus#cite_ref-Powell_45-0

      Some notes on Dionysiac rituals will be helpful. The rites of Dionysus involved ecstatic, divine possession. The rituals, most suitably taking place in wild and natural settings, involved drinking, frenzied dances, and flesh-eating rituals. In a ritual similar to the Christian Eucharist, an animal (or, in this play, a man) would be infused with the spirit of the god Dionysus and then killed. The worshippers of the god, called Bacchae, would eat the flesh, transformed by the ritual into the flesh of their god, and thereby share Bacchus' divine nature.

      http://www.gradesaver.com/the-bacchae/study-guide/section1/

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    8. Twenty-first-century historians tend to agree that human sacrifice was both a unifying event and an intense demonstration of religious beliefs for these powerful empires. The Aztecs believed that the "vital energies" of one person could be transferred to another person through drinking the blood and eating the flesh. The gods also craved flesh and blood, so human sacrifice benefited both Aztecs and their ever-hungry deities. Sacrifice was an integral part of their worldview in which the threat of death was ever present, a threat that had to be countered by extreme and relentless measures that would magically transform death into life. Discoveries since the mid-twentieth century confirm that many women were sacrificed in special rituals intended to renew the fertility cycle.


      Read more: Sacrifice - rituals, world, body, life, history, beliefs, rate, time, person, human http://www.deathreference.com/Py-Se/Sacrifice.html#ixzz23iUlwyFr

      Utterances 273 and 274 are sometimes known as the "cannibal hymn", because it describes the king hunting and eating parts of the gods:[4] They represent a discrete episode (Utterances 273-274) in the anthrology of ritual texts that make up the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom period.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_Texts

      So there you have three examples that predate your god by quite some time.

      Be sure not to read further, you might learn stuff, best to ignore it.

      >There is an easy answer here. God is establishing the pattern for the Saturday Sabbath, as Scripture tells us (Exodus 20:8-11).
      Yeah, no, once again you squint at the picture and see what you want to see. It says it, quite clearly, your god rested. Your omnipotent (yes, yes the Catholic version of the word which means it can do anything but not everything like not making evil) god needed a breather. Just weird is all.

      It's also weird that your god would declare a day off to be "holy" what does that even mean? But never mind, just another example of your god's poor communication because don’t different sects of your god, Jews and Muslims think it's Saturday as written but you all say it's Sunday.

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    9. >All of this is Christological, and brought to fulfillment in Jesus Christ, whose Body is in the Tomb on Holy Saturday.
      While we're on the subject, another question for you to whistle past, why did Jesus vanish in the same way dead people / people who never were do? What's the point of coming back to life if you leave the mortal coil? Why didn’t Jesus go to the Romans that nailed him up , hold up his wrists, show his scars and say "Any questions as to how is the king of what?".
      Instead we had more war.
      Was that part of the plan or was Jesus making it up as he went along?

      >I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but you keep throwing out more arguments, and we keep answering them.

      No, I haven't noticed but I guess I must be blind because I don't see answers at all, I see you jumped on the St Augustine thing pretty quick because you knew you were right (and you were!) but all the other stuff? The stuff you don’t have answers for? No, you ignore that. Like:

      2) Where are you getting the claim that the Church used to burn people alive for claiming that the Bible isn’t always to be understood literally? It’s completely false.

      Uh huh:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno

      Completely false huh? You sure about that?

      > I think I speak for the others when I say that we’re more than happy to do this, if you’re interested in actually learning.

      Oh I am but you guys aren't, that's the difference between you and me, you want your god to be real for the comfort that brings so you ignore anything that could jeopardize it.

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    10. Like the awful fact that your church covered up the rape of children, your current Pope has a DIRECT hand in that. And if only that were the only scandal.

      > If you were a little less smug, and a little more humble, you might learn that Catholicism isn’t as crazy, stupid, or simple as you’ve been led to believe.

      You think you eat a cracker that turns into your god, I'm sorry but that is crazy and that is stupid. You believe that Jesus said stuff like "Give all your money away to the poor!" and yet his Church is now worth how much? The Pope has how many gold thrones? I'm sorry but that is hypocritical at best.

      Of course whenever I bring up these things you howl "STRAWMAN!" as if somehow that's an answer rather than a weak cop-out.

      >But disavail yourself of the notion that your ignorance of Catholicism is going to somehow disprove our faith.

      I have no desire to disprove anything in your minds, I don't fancy myself anywhere near up to that task! No, I just like testing my thoughts and ideas against opposition to find the weaknesses, like I have with Augustine. See that's what makes me "smug", finding out I'm wrong about something and then learning so it doesn’t happen again. I love being shown to be wrong, that's the way to get right.

      Hey, why not do it again? Show me were I'm wrong so more, we'd both enjoy it I think.

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    11. Salvage,

      I accidentally put a period after the html, which is why it didn't work. Try this:
      http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2011/11/jesus-and-mithras-debunked.html

      I.X.,

      Joe

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  41. So far you have said God can't exist because "...god is going tocome back and kill /punish everyone who doesn't think as you do. But that's not just atheists right? But Muslims
    and Jews and Christians that aren't of
    your sect..."

    And then I showed you where the Roman Catholic Church says of course non-believers, Muslims, and Jews could be saved.

    You showed how an omnipotent God couldn't exist using your definition of omnipotent.

    Then RP and I said we don't claim He is omnipotent as you define the term.

    Now you are taking us to task for believing in 7 day creationism which Catholics are free to reject.





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. >And then I showed you where the Roman Catholic Church says of course non-believers, Muslims, and Jews could be saved.

      And the I quoted the very words of your god saying that anyone who doesn't abide in it will be treated like "deadwood" and burnt.

      See how you skip over the things I say that don't fit with what you want to be true?


      >You showed how an omnipotent God couldn't exist using your definition of omnipotent.

      Yes, that's just one of the reasons why your god doesn't make sense.


      >Then RP and I said we don't claim He is omnipotent as you define the term.

      I know, you change the meanings of words just as do reality to protect your faith.


      >Now you are taking us to task for believing in 7 day creationism which Catholics are free to reject.

      I do hate to be pedantic but it's six day, on the seventh your god rested… wait, why would a god need to rest? Oh dear.

      And you are free to reject it all but it would seem you only reject the bits that don't work while at the same time claiming it all to be true.

      Doublethink! You're doing it. Again.

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    2. Doublethink?

      Dude, just because you're crappy at interpreting the Scripture doesn't mean everyone/the Catholic Church is.

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  42. And for the record, the Bible is not the source of our religion, Jesus is. And He gave His Church the authority to interpret the Scriptures infallibly. You can google material sufficiency versus formal sufficiency.

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  43. I'm geting lost in all of the posts Salvage.

    Please post for me your best point that the Catholic faith self-professes that is absurd that we haven't addressed at all.

    Please post your best point that we have addressed inadequately ...

    I would like to zoom in on those 2 issues.

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  44. This article is very timely:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godandthemachine/2012/08/st-augustine-asking-the-hard-questions-atheists-dont-ask/

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  45. I'm guessing the heart of Savage's discourse is his main point: that he thinks God is so confusing and should communicate in such a way so as not to confuse mere mortals.

    The problem with that argument (if I'm correct in that's what he wants) is that human's have enough trouble communicating with each other as it is.

    If I hurt my toe, I can describe to you the pain using similes and metaphors (like the story in Genesis) but in Savage's eyes and for other humans it's deficient since I'm unable to convey *exactly* how it feels. That is impossible. My pain may be similar but it is not exact as what another has experienced or exact as how even I have experienced.

    God created humans, but we weren't created to be gods so we haven't the words and whatnot to understand everything about God. It's a process we are always unpeeling the layers of.

    In other words, humans are the problem, not God. God communicates himself just fine; it's humans that have the trouble understanding him. I point out 1 Cor. 13:12 (For now we only see a reflection as in a mirror...)

    Savage is charging head first into a straw man. Savage, if you want to argue there is no God because he has not properly, exactly revealed himself to us, then I ask you can I not also argue that the problem is not with God's communication but rather our interpretation? Could it not be that humans are the problem and not God?

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    Replies
    1. Sorry...that should read "My pain may be similar but it is not exact as what another has experienced or exact as how even I have experienced before."

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  46. While we're waiting for Salvage, can anyone tell me why the Catholic Church is responsible for Bruno being burned at the stake by the civil authorities?

    It seems to me when dealing with heresiarchs the Church sets fire to their mind, the State their body, and the Devil their soul.

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  47. He was burnt in Rome, where the Pope WAS civil authority.

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  48. Joe to Salvage:

    No. St. Augustine described Genesis 1-2 as allegorical in the fourth century. I think that predates Chuck Darwin by a couple years, but you’re free to check my math there.

    Hmmm ... when he described them as allegory it was not for some other creation account, like Darwin's with Lemaître's. It was for Christ and the Church. As with Flood, as with Joseph in Egypt. As with non-Genesis matter of OT.

    When he described Genesis 1-2 as literal in a non-literal way, it was in favour of a one-moment creation, apprehended by angels in six-seven consecutive nano-seconds or whatever.

    Feel free to check my math, but to me that makes him more of a young earth creationist right then (at other moments he accepted the literal view) than when accepting Genesis 1-2 literally. It makes history one week shorter.

    And 5199 years before Christ minus one week does not make billions of years. Feel free to check my math there also.

    If you want Old Earth Creationists, you might want to look at Pagan Egyptians and Chinamen. Rather than Church Fathers or Church Writers polemising against the Egyptian view. As Origen, another classic.

    I think the proper answer to Salvage is to ask him why he came, with all his scepticism against Holy Writ, to accept with such immense credulity the modern so called scientists.

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