Ten Things I Wish Jim Rigby Knew…

1. If Jesus did not mention a subject, it cannot be essential to his teachings.

Aside from being a complete non-sequitur, Rigby fails to make some important distinctions about certain details of Christian belief. Jesus did have something to say on the nature of marriage in Mark 10: that it was made for a male and female to be joined together to live independently from their parents forever. The Bible claims “ All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16), not just the red letters.  Moreover, according to Christian theology, Jesus is God and inspired the Old as well as the New Testament and so the absence of explicit teaching by Jesus on homosexuality means little.  He was an obedient Jew and as such affirmed the moral code of the OT.  Lastly, I wonder if Rigby has considered the behaviors one could defend by claiming Jesus’ omission of the subject should be understood to mean endorsement of or permission to engage in them.

2. You are not being persecuted when prevented from persecuting others.

Same-sex marriage activists have been claiming that support of natural marriage is by definition hate and persecution.  For years they have equated things you do with who you are, and so the feeling of persecution is self-imposed.  Activists like to have the public and homosexuals believe they should be in constant fear of being the victim of a hate crime.  In fact, only .00016% of all homosexuals are victims of hate crimes.  When you are repeatedly told you should feel like a victim, you begin to.  However, despite the lack of actual persecution of gays and lesbians, Christians do experience real penalties for their convictions.  Activist proponents of same-sex marriage have been telling us for years that this issue doesn’t affect anyone; that all they want is to live and let live.  I have known all along that wasn’t true.  So did they. And now so does Chick-Fil-A…and a wedding photographer who objected and was fined for not participating in a same-sex marriage ceremony, and an inn owner who objected and wouldn’t participate in a same-sex marriage ceremony.  Live and let live is not an option, you must participate…or else.

3. Truth isn’t like wine that gets better with age.  It’s more like manna you must recognize where you are and who you’re with.

This makes no sense to me as it’s written, and so I have nothing to say about it.  If someone has an idea, let me know and I’ll offer a response.

4. You cannot call it “special rights” when someone asks for the same rights you have.

The same-sex marriage supporters mantra is “equal rights”.  However, the advocates for same-sex marriage already have equal rights.  Even in States where same-sex marriage or civil unions are not legal, homosexuals have all the same rights as heterosexuals when it comes to marriage. What same-sex marriage advocates do not like is that they also have the same restrictions.  Rights aren’t the issue.

What are the restrictions in States in which same-sex marriage or civil unions are not legal?  Broadly speaking anyone who is not currently married can marry: one person, of the opposite sex, who is not of close relation (as defined by the individual State), who is currently free to marry (i.e. not currently married).

So what is the disparity of rights?  The State is unconcerned with the emotional status or sexual attraction is between people who wish to marry.  That standard applies to everyone, heterosexual and homosexual alike.  If the standard is equally applied, then no rights have been violated.

5. It is no longer your personal religious view if you’re bothering someone else.

Speaking for myself, I don’t consider my religious convictions “personal” in the sense that I have some obligation to keep them to myself.  In fact, my religion commands me to evangelize.  If you are someone who believes people should not evangelize because it is an attempt to impose their religious views upon you, and you voice that conviction, you are guilty of your own complaint.  Evangelism for some religious systems is part of their fabric. When you attempt to silence evangelists, you are in a sense imposing your religious view of evangelism upon the evangelist.  You are in effect saying, “give up your view on evangelism (that you should) and adopt my view on evangelism (that you should not)”.  Whether you would agree or not, evangelism is a religious view.  Any attempt to silence evangelism is an imposition of an opposite religious view.  Opposing evangelism because it is an attempt to impose a religious view is self-defeating.

If by bothering someone else, Rigby means voicing our opinion on homosexuality, then that’s also hypocritical.  In essence he is saying “if you don’t agree with my view on homosexuality, don’t speak on the subject”.

6. Marriage is a civil ceremony, which means it’s a civil right.

This is just false.  There are plenty of civil institutions which are not civil rights.  Driving is a privilege, not a right.  A license is granted to those who meet the criteria.  Just like marriage, some people don’t qualify, and it is not a violation of civil rights to withhold licensing to those who do not qualify.

7. If how someone stimulates the public nerve has become the needle to your moral compass, you are the one who is lost.

This condemnation cuts both ways.  But there is nothing wrong with speaking up about what you consider morally wrong.

There is an overt antagonism coming from homosexual activists toward Christians.  This is the foundation for the resistance to homosexuality, there are activists.  These activists have created a hostile atmosphere (pot calling the kettle black, says the activist).  What I mean is, vocal opposition to homosexuality is shouted down and the Christian is labeled hateful and bigoted.  Name-calling is the go-to response.  Don’t support same-sex marriage? you hate.  Think public displays of actual or simulated sex acts during public parades or protests are inappropriate? you’re a bigot.  The problem is disagreement is not an option.  Nor is tolerance for that matter.  So the Christian worldview is under constant attack and ridicule from homosexual activism.

Christians face no such antagonism from adulterers, or the promiscuous, or those who act on any number of sexual sins.  Moreover, there is no push for social endorsement of adultery, or promiscuity.  There is no such thing as an adultery pride parade.  We are not asked to accept incestuous or adulterous relationships.  Christians are also not forced to have their children taught these other sexual sins in elementary schools.

It should really be no surprise that Christians have gay-on-the-brain.  We aren’t allowed to forget it.  If homosexuals are uncomfortable or offended at the attention they receive from the Christian community, I suggest they relax on the confrontation.  There are no adultery pride parades.  Adultery and promiscuity are not taught as an acceptable practice to children – and if you don’t accept it you’re just a hateful Christian bigot.  In fact Christians are told that their God is also hateful and so is their Holy writ; whereby actually attacking the very foundation of the Christian’s being.

8. To condemn homosexuality, you must use parts of the Bible you yourself don’t obey.  Anyone who obeyed every part of Leviticus would rightly be put in prison.

Despite what most people like Rigby believe, homosexuality is condemned in the New Testament as well.  Romans chapter 1 and 1 Corinthians 6 are as explicit as to how God views practicing homosexuality as anything in the Old Testament.  But aside from this oversight (or omission), God’s plan was to bring about a new covenant which would be different from the original (Heb. 8:9), or old covenant, (Jer. 31:31, 32) which was broken by Israel.  It would function in a new way.  The old covenant was a written law, the new would be written on the hearts of believers (Heb 8:10).

Jesus, God Himself, would be the one to usher in the new covenant (Isa. 53:11-12; Psa. 22:25-29; Zech. 12:10; Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25).  Once the new is in place, the old is done away with and obsolete (Heb. 8:13, 2 Cor. 3:6).  This means is it done with, there is no more obligation to fulfill the Law (Rom. 7:6).  There was even some debate in the early church, that some new believers had claimed it was necessary to keep the Law of Moses (Acts 15:5), and a letter was written in response claiming they, the Apostles, gave no such instruction (Acts 15:24), and advising they not be burdened beyond the essentials of abstaining from “things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell” (Acts 15:29).  In fact, the Apostles questioned speaking of the Law of Moses, “Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor
we have been able to bear
?” (Acts 15:10).

What about Matthew 5:17-18, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.“?  In this passage is Jesus teaching the Law is in effect and will never pass away?  It is true He did not come to destroy the law, which He did not, the Law was not abolished, it was completed.  Before the crucifixion/resurrection the Law was still in effect and required to be obeyed by the Jews.

9. If we do not do the right thing in our day, our grandchildren will look at us with the same embarrassment we look at racist grandparents.

Here Rigby just asserts that his view is the right view, and predictably associates homosexuality with race.  But as of yet, I have never heard anyone offer an argument for the moral goodness or benignity of homosexuality.  They always assume what they should be proving.  At the very least they could offer why homosexual sexual relationships deserve to be morally good or benign by default.  Additionally, morality isn’t decided by public opinion.  It may be that in the next few generations my grandchildren will be embarrassed by my views on this subject, but that doesn’t dictate whether my view is correct or not.  This is a non-argument.

10. When Jesus forbade judging, that included you.

Pay no attention to the irony of this graphic judging Christians for their views on homosexuality.  Instead we should investigate if Jesus really did condemn judging.  The “do not judge” passage as a whole is really is not difficult to understand when you continue reading.  The verse is used to “remind” someone who is passing a moral judgement on another, that they ought not be offering judgements on moral issues.  However, when read in context the passage is an admonition of hypocritical judgement of others, rather than a normative command to withhold making moral judgements all together.  For example, if I am an adulterer, before I can rightfully rebuke you for your adultery, I should address my own.

The condescension in this graphic is thick with shallow slogans, and light on substance.  I have come to terms with the fact that this is to be expected from critics of Christian values.  These objections are representative of the emotionally driven line of argumentation provided by same-sex marriage advocates, and they are all wanting.


  1. In answering your points:
    1. Freedom of religion means no free citizen is forced to follow what Jesus or any other religion proposes.
    2. Gays don’t ask for your “approval”, it is neither needed or required. Persecution in this regard is an unwelcome interference in the lives of others. Apply your religion to your own life and stop trying to force other free citizens to live by its tenets.
    3. –
    4. It’s a reference to legally marrying the person you love and share your life with. That right is not available to the LGBT community.
    5. Your right to evangelize ends where the right of another citizen not to be evangelized begins. You have the right to your beliefs, but no right to oblige other people to live according to your beliefs.
    6. “There is an overt antagonism coming from homosexual activists toward Christians.”- You are right, when people are constantly attacked by the same group, they tend to dislike that group. The same is true of African Americans and the KKK.
    7. I could care less what the bible says on anything.
    8. same as the above
    9. Sexuality in and of itself has no moral implications. People who have less sex aren’t necessarily more moral than those who have more. A person who abstains from sex may be highly immoral whilst someone who has sex regularly may be extremely moral. You’re trying to equate things that have no logical connection.
    10. Again… I could care less about “Jesus”. You want to believe archaic myths, feel free. I’m not interested.

    • Pink

      Just to address #6 and 9, since Marshall did a sufficient job on the others. Homosexuals are not “persecuted” by Christians in a way at all similar as blacks were and are by the KKK. If you truly believe they are similar, you are either pushing propaganda, or you are so thoroughly brainwashed or deluded that you can’t see reality clearly.

      #9, you are only considering the amount of sexual encounters in your dismissal. What about sex with animals or children? Don’t those sexual desires and those who act on them doing something immoral? Do you see that the object of ones sexual desire can be a moral issue, as well as acting on the desire?

  2. @ pink

    1. No force is being applied except what activists hope to apply on all of society regarding their lifestyle choices and how it MUST be viewed by all of society.
    2. “Gays” DEMAND approval by their activism in seeking special protections (hate crime laws), and by forcing their belief regarding their lifestyle choices on the rest of society. Who are you kidding?
    4. This is not a right protected for anyone as John explained above. Who one loves or how is not a criteria for marriage licensing. As such laws have always stood, it was equally applied to all.
    5. Few who evangelize waste their time with reprobates and deniers. In fact, we are taught not to do so, but to shake the dust from our sandals and move on. Yet, activists do exactly this by their constant harping that we must regard them as normal and morally benign, even at the cost of our own beliefs.
    6. What you regard as “attacks” by our side has always been merely a defense of scientific and moral truths regarding the subject at hand. No proofs of your position has even been offered (though we acknowledge the attempts to find some) and thus we are responding to the childish “I want, I want, I want” that is the sum total of the activist argument.
    7. If you could care less, then obviously you care somewhat. You’d do well to care enough to at least know that the attempt to use the Bible to defend the behavior is a waste of time. More to the point, sinners rarely care what the Bible says about their particular sin. This is no surprise.
    8. This, like #7 for John, was in response to the Rigby graphic. But for you, same as above.
    9. The term “morality” has come to mean more than its original meaning. Using a website that offers many variations of the Bible, it is difficult to find the word “morality” anywhere. But, the term “immorality” is generally paired with and follows the word “sexual”. Thus, sexuality, more specifically sexual behavior, is indeed a matter of morality. Always has been and always will be regardless of how much those unwilling to control their carnal desires would prefer.
    10. Your lack of belief in Jesus, though incredibly unfortunate for you, is irrelevant in the face of “judge not” being constantly thrown in the faces of Christians by those who defend indefensible sexual behaviors. What’s more, it is hypocritical given the people who try to use this tactic, as they in fact judge the behaviors of those who defend traditional notions of virtue and goodness.

  3. Marshal,
    Force is applied when bans and limitations are advocated as law.
    The reason is legalizations don’t force anyone to behave in any particular way. Alcohol is legal and no one is forced to drink alcohol. If alcohol is banned then all of society is forced to behave according to a single ideology.
    Hate crime laws are a natural part of the justice system which has always considered aggravating and/or attenuating circumstances. Murder 1 is different to murder in the heat of passion which is different from vehicular manslaughter. The intention of the criminal must be considered for adequate punishment to be given. Think of it in different terms, someone burns down a church simply because they don’t like your religion. Is it a hate crime? Obviously it is. It’s not just arson, it’s an act of violence against a person or persons for their private ideology and/or lifestyle.
    In the 20th century we’ve moved away from arranged marriages to marriages for love. It is the number one criteria in our times and as such should be applied to all adult citizens of consenting age.
    If you want to talk about sexual morality, try at least to be logical. please explain how sex equates to morality, you’ve done no such thing. You appeal to archaic religious writing to justify your position- but there is no moral argument to be made for sex itself.

  4. John Barron;
    I’m surprised you can make such an absurd argument with a straight face. let me introduce you to the concept which is consent. Animals and children are incapable of giving legal consent. Sex carries certain risks and civilized society has decided that consent is of primordial importance as a precursor to sexual relations.
    As for the KKK, it’s an example of how victims react to victimizers. Certain Christian groups have actively and disgustingly worked to promote the exclusion, marginalization and persecution of people who don’t submit to their ideology. Millions have been spent in that regard and I’m happy to recite them to you should you be genuinely interested.

    • Pink, I think perhaps you have a more lenient definition of “persecution” than I have.

      But aside from children and animals, mothers and fathers with adult children then. Sexual behaviors do carry moral properties. This can be demonstrated by the effects on victims of violent crimes and victims of sexual crimes suffer significantly different from one another. Sexual interactions carry more significant emotional stakes than other relationships. Sexual betrayals are more damaging to relationships than other betrayals.

      I don’t know how one could argue sexual interactions have no moral implications. Perhaps you have a argument to counter this otherwise obvious intuition.

      • Yes, and we’re talking about consensual sexual behaviour between adults. The same way it happens between heterosexuals. Not sexual crime or sexual violence. Consent.
        As for persecution try googling the Uganda Kill the Gays Bill and read on to see the American Evangelicals who were involved in it.

        • So consensual sex between parents and their adult children are morally benign?

          But I don’t think its intellectually honest to take an extreme example such as the Ugandan murders of homosexuals, and then make blanket accusations of persecution.

          • No, they wouldn’t be, because incest carries many other issues. Familial hierarchy means the concept of genuine consent is perverted. It’s the same reason sex between teachers and students is prohibited, there’s a dynamic of one individual having power over the other.
            It’s not just the Uganda Bill, I happy to name many other circumstances where gays are being persecuted and the climbing numbers of gay teen suicide in conservative “Christian” communities.

            • Pink we’re talking consent. If no coercion exists then on your view sexual relationships between parents and children are morally permissible. It seems now you’re walking this back.

              • No it doesn’t, we’re talking TRUE CONSENT. Incest doesn’t allow for true consent because it emerges from a hierarchical situation. Which part of the teacher/student example did you not understand?
                Why do you think student/teacher relationships are prohibited even if both parties are adults?

              • Pink, I know about teacher student relationships. But not all parent child relationships are parallel. How about parents and children who did not grow up in the same home and did not have the normal parent child relationship. Is it okay for them? And who are you to say they are not allowed to love who they want and marry whoever they want, who are you to impose your morals on them?

              • I didn’t say “they’re not allowed”. What you’ve just done is an ad-hoc fallacy. Once your theory is proven wrong you change the basis of it to maintain the pretence that it was right.
                I have explained why incest is not consensual. In the case of people who have never met but discover their consanguinity the same argument would apply.
                And just so you know, by attacking other irrelevant forms of relationships you’re not actually discussing the merits of gay marriage, which is the consensual adult relationship of two free citizens who are not related by blood.
                If you want to defend incest, or attack incest, have at it- just be intellectually honest enough to not have to muddy the waters with distractions.

              • Pink

                You didn’t actually make an argument, you made a comparison. This was only after you said consenting adults may engage in any sexual behavior and it is morally neutral. Now we see there are exceptions to your rule, but it seems to be arbitrary to your personal standard. I see that as hypocritical.

              • There are always exceptions in common sense. People can drive but they need licenses. People can get married as long as they’re entering into genuinely consensual relationships and they have the necessary requisites to consent (full mind).

                Now you’re appealing to the either/or fallacy. If something is not white, that does not mean it’s black. Even if you’d like to pretend there are only two options, that’s not the case.

              • Pink

                I’m still hopeful that you’ll make a case for your earlier statement that sex has no moral framework. This discussion has been an attempt to show that isn’t the case. Id still be interested if you have one to make.

              • I have already made that case loud and clear. Consensual, adult sex is morally neutral. Morality only enters the discussion in regards to other factors such as honesty, law, responsibility and respect for one’s self and others.

  5. What about cheating on your spouse? Prostitution? How about having a multitude of sexual partners? I remember reading that Magic Johnson had dozens and dozens of sexual partners. You can argue that those behaviors are self-destructive and are ill-advised. That’s true. But most people would go a step further and say that there is something morally wrong with them.

  6. tumeyn,
    Thanks. You made my point for me. The examples you give happen in the heterosexual world. They are not dependent on the gender of a person’s partner and therefore not dependent on sexual orientation. True sexual “morality” is about honesty, respect and responsibility- not about the gender of the person you sleep with or how many times you do it.

  7. “Consensual, adult sex is morally neutral. Morality only enters the discussion in regards to other factors such as honesty, law, responsibility and respect for one’s self and others.”
    Is this something you read in your sacred texts, or is this just something that you happen to believe? It certainly doesn’t seem like a provable statement. Why should I accept this assertion?

  8. Point number 1: Jesus did say homosexuality defiled men. See Matthew 15:19-20.

    See also my argument at http://americancreed.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/an-argument-from-the-red-letters/

  9. Point number 2: God does not forbid moral judgments, only hypocritical ones.

    See Judging Obama’s Christian Fruit http://americancreed.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/judging-obamas-fruit/

  10. tumeyn,
    I don’t have sacred texts, I am using logic. A sex act in and of itself has no bearing on morality, it’s only what it represents that has a bearing on morality. Are you fooling someone? Are you hurting someone? That’s to do with morality, but not the sex itself.

    • Pink

      Forgive me for possibly being crass. But when I introduced beastiality, you objected saying the animal can’t consent. I agree an animal can’t consent, but we use animals for our purposes without their consent regularly for a host of different reasons. So, if sex has no moral underpinnings, why does the use of the animal for sexual gratification require its consent, but other morally benign purposes do not?

      • You’re making an argument for bestiality. If that’s your thing, go right ahead and we’ll see if your argument holds water.
        I’m making an argument for adult, consenting, tax-paying citizens to make sexual decisions for themselves.
        If you can’t see a difference and wish to continue down this line of absurdity I’ll be forced to question your honesty and morality.

  11. Hey John,

    That was truly an excellent post, and these liberal homosexualists denying that fact are demonstratedly deluded.

    Interesting how they can make up their morals as they go. HOW DARE they say incest by consenting adults isn’t really proper consent, etc. What makes these clowns the arbiters of what is consensual?

    One of biggest frauds is the claim that bestiality is immoral and improper because an animal can’t consent to sex, but animals also can’t consent to be pets and yet I’ll bet most of the moral relativists have pets!! And by whose moral standard do they decide consent must be given? They have no moral standard but their own opinions and yet they have the audacity to say you are in error!!

    Oh the irony of the illogical claims!!!!

  12. Pink writes: “I’m making an argument for adult, consenting, tax-paying citizens to make sexual decisions for themselves.”
    I could be wrong, but the original objection you had (#9 in John’s post) was to the statement that sexual acts can be moral or immoral. You claimed that sex is ammoral (neither positive nor negative). No one (including John) has advocated making homosexual sex illegal. There are loads of actions that are immoral that are perfectly legal: Adultery, lying, gluttony, idolatry, gossip, slander, greed, etc. Virtually no Christians (except for a very vocal minority) would suggest that homosexuality is any “worse” than any of these acts and virtually no one would advocate for making any of these actions illegal.

    But it seems to bother you (and many others) that we lump various sexual activities in with the above sins.

  13. Pink is not interested in a serious conversation with inane comments like “You’re making an argument for bestiality. If that’s your thing, go right ahead and we’ll see if your argument holds water.” He realizes that John smoked him with the point about bestiality and Pink is now trying to deflect the argument to being about someone’s sexual preference. Although John’s moral position is that bestiality is sin and repugnant, Pink tries to amatuerishly win the debate by trying to paint John as a bugger. Pink is ridiculing bestiality but his moral presupposition is that there are no moral restrictions on sexuality. That is hypocrisy. Buggery is the natural outcome of Pink’s moral philosophy.

  14. It should be noted that zoophiles and pedophiles both argue that their sexual orientation is something they are born with, and both claim that their victims are actually willing, consenting partners. I’m not sure what reasoning pansexuals use, since they claim to be sexually attracted to anything and everything, including inanimate objects. It is therefore legitimate to bring up when gays argue that their orientation is something they are born with and that their activities are consensual, as it requires explaination as to why *their* activities should be condoned, while others condemned.

  15. The point about bestiality is ridiculous. It’s a red herring and a false equivalency. Obviously the people who propose it still don’t comprehend the concept of consent which is described in law as an act of reason and deliberation. “A person who possesses and exercises sufficient mental capacity to make an intelligent decision demonstrates consent by performing an act recommended by another. Consent assumes a physical power to act and a reflective, determined, and unencumbered exertion of these powers. It is an act unaffected by Fraud, duress, or sometimes even mistake when these factors are not the reason for the consent.”
    Zoophiles and pedophiles are commit acts of abuse against animals and children, both unable to consent.

    • E de mas

      you are misunderstanding the reason beastiality was introduced. Pink made the claim that sex, but nature, is amoral — that it is neither good or bad. Pink then made the claim that consent is required in order for sex to be acceptable. This was the first contradiction in his argument. Beastiality was introduced by me because, according to Pink’s view of the amorality of sex, beastiality ought to be acceptable because animals are used against their will and consent all the time for scores of amoral purposes, for example to work and for pets. So if sex is, by nature, amoral as Pink claims, then use of an animal for sexual gratification is no more immoral than drinking a glass of water and should not require consent.

      The same goes for anyone else. If Pink is right and sex is amoral, consent is irrelevant. And it would be impossible to commit sexual abuse, since amoral acts are not capable of being abusive. This was the point. Thanks for your thoughts nonetheless.

    • I would also appreciate using the same name when commenting so that people don’t get confused talking to the same person.

  16. You are perverting logic Mr. Barron. Sex in and of itself does not have moral connotations. That consent is required doesn’t suddenly mean it has moral connotations. In that case what has moral connotations is the consent itself.
    Having lunch has no moral connotations, forcing someone to eat or depriving them of food does have moral connotations.
    You seam not to understand basic logic, what’s your level of education? Your premises do not justify your conclusions, and you mix ideas at random using ad-hoc fallacies once your initial points are debunked.
    Your following statement has no logical connection: “according to Pink’s view of the amorality of sex, beastiality ought to be acceptable because animals are used against their will and consent all the time for scores of amoral purposes, for example to work and for pets. So if sex is, by nature, amoral as Pink claims, then use of an animal for sexual gratification is no more immoral than drinking a glass of water and should not require consent.”
    That’s not at all what I said, it’s a fraudulent misinterpretation of what I said. I never said bestiality should be acceptable because we use animals for pets and for work. I said it is NOT acceptable because as a society mankind requires consent FOR SEX. As a society we do not require animal consent for WORK or being A PET.
    Before you respond at least make an attempt to understand what people say, lest you make a fool of yourself.

    • As long as we’re throwing out ad homs here…
      Your reading comprehension is abysmal. I never said you support bestiality or find it acceptable. I said according to your amoral view of sex and your arbitrary and narrow definition of consent, your view permist bestiality with no recourse for objection.

      Before YOU respond, why don’t you look deeper than the surface of your worldview to see where it can ultimately lead.

      • My narrow definition of consent? I gave you the LEGAL DEFINITION of consent: Voluntary Acquiescence to the proposal of another; the act or result of reaching an accord; a concurrence of minds; actual willingness that an act or an infringement of an interest shall occur.

        Consent is an act of reason and deliberation. A person who possesses and exercises sufficient mental capacity to make an intelligent decision demonstrates consent by performing an act recommended by another. Consent assumes a physical power to act and a reflective, determined, and unencumbered exertion of these powers. It is an act unaffected by Fraud, duress, or sometimes even mistake when these factors are not the reason for the consent. Consent is implied in every agreement.

        Therefore, my view DOES NOT permit bestiality because an animal is incapable of CONSENT. Is that too difficult a concept for you to understand?

        • Now if you’re going to use legal definitions, explain in what circumstances we require an animals consent for their use.

          Not only do we not require their consent, they have no ability to consent, not in the free fashion you seem to use to discriminate against consenting parent/adult child sexual relationships. But then again, sofas don’t give consent to sit on them, either.

          The point is, animals are not human and granting them rights ordinarily reserved for humans, you lower the value of humans. So even if humans require consent for sexual encounters, what justification can you offer to require that an animal should have to give its consent for sex, especially since you claim sex is amoral — just like owning a pet is amoral, and watering the lawn is amoral. Why does one amoral act require consent and another does not?

          Your whole arguement is the epitome of special pleading.

          • You’re repeating the same logical error again and again.
            We require consent FOR SEX. It’s a very simple idea.
            We require consent for any act that can impinge on the existence of another being. As I’ve explained before incest cannot be consensual by its very nature. Do I have to explain that to you again?

  17. Wow… did you finish high-school?
    Let me say it again: Civilized society requires CONSENT FOR SEXUAL RELATIONS.
    It’s actually very easy: Sex = Consent
    Pet = No consent necessary, although there is legislation to protect animals from abuse.
    The morality of the issue is CONSENT. The presumption being that people do not own pets in order to abuse them. The lack of sexual consent represents an abuse.

    • What is the moral difference between consentual sex with a human and sex with an inanimate object?

      Furthermore, the very notion that society requires consent for sex belies your argument that sex is amoral. There is obviously something to it that is more than just another behavior.

      • Society requires consent for EVERYTHING that is a matter of free will and personal safety/integrity. You cannot force-feed people. You cannot hit them. You cannot hurt another free citizen. You cannot imprison someone in your attack. Those would all be violations of CONSENT.
        There is no moral difference between consensual sex with another human being and sex with an inanimate object or masturbation.
        The person who masturbates or has sex with a doll can be a perfectly moral, generous, caring, responsible, respectful and competent human being.

        • oops, seems as though you’ve imported another topic into this discussion. “generous, caring, responsible, respectful and competent human being.” these qualities have nothing to do with the discussion, nor has anyone said homosexuals are not any of these. Lets not introduce red herrings here.

          But secondly, you said sex requires consent. You said animals and adult children cannot truly consent to sex, but neither can dolls and other inanimate objects. If sex requires consent, then sex with objects should be prohibited. What’s the difference between an animal and an inanimate object? If neither can consent, then neither should be used for sexual gratification.

          As I said, in your effort to defend homosexual sexual behaviors, you have built your entire argument on special pleading.

          • Those points have everything to do with the discussion because they represent REAL MORALITY.

            Dolls and animals don’t require consent because they have no will to be impinged on. Do you not understand the difference?

  18. Great responses, John. People should just start with item 10 in his list as a time saver. Once they stop chuckling over his tone-deaf hypocrisy of telling others not to judge (after his extended play judging) they should just move on.

  19. The planet’s dying and saddos worry about gay folk. If ever there was an advert not to fall for pathetic dogma this is it. There is no god therefore any arguments stemming from this error are fallacious.
    If you believe in a big fairy in the sky why not let him/she or it sort out these matters and leave gentle folk to love whoever they like.
    The way religious folk defend these evil otherings of decent people makes me think they don’t really believe after all. It seems to me that this is a simple example of being scared of what is repressed.
    Psychology anyone?

  20. correction: “Dolls and animals don’t require consent (in the case of being pets) because they have no will to be impinged on. Do you not understand the difference?

    • Pink, I do, but you dont seem to. why does sex require consent from animals but not imprisonment? Arbitrary.

      • Oh my… is there any fallacy you don’t use? I’ve given the answer to that at least three times.
        We require consent for sex because a sexual act impinges on the integrity of a being. As a civilized society we require consent for acts that may harm or violate the will of a person (or animal).

        • imprisonment doesnt impinge?

          • If you imprison an animal without proper care you’d be arrested.

            • not talking about not caring. we’re talking imprisonment. imprisoning an animal violates its (true) will. If sex is amoral, why is one violation of will via amoral act permitable and not another violation of will via amoral act?

              Still special pleading.

              • Read this and then get back to us: http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/fallacies/

                Let me explain again how sex is not connected to morality:
                Someone may have had sex with their spouse ten times yesterday, another person may have not done it all. The sex doesn’t in any way determine which of those people is “more moral”. It has no impact on true morality. There have been monsters who probably never had sex like Torquemada and I know there are lots of people who’ve had a lot of sex who are fantastic human beings who make substantial contributions to their communities.
                As for the animal issue which you seem stuck on, you’re still twisting logic. Society does not require consent for activities deemed benign which do not carry risks to the individual/animal. It’s really quite easy to grasp.

              • I cant seem to figure out why you think sex would be linked to unrelated moral behaviors. No one suggested that how much sex someone has, has anything to do with whether they are honest, or generous, or polite. No one has ever made that kind of connection. The particular sexual behaviors a person engages in, and with whom is the moral issue.

              • That makes no sense. Sex laying down is more moral than sex standing up? The gender of a sexual partner makes someone more or less moral? That doesn’t hold water. It’s simply not logical.
                Morality isn’t about archaic rules, it’s a real concept that relates to how a person behaves in society and whether they’re doing something positive for themselves and others or something negative.

              • What is the longevity on a source for moral proscriptions? At what age are they considered no longer valid? Because I can think of many behaviors that are considered immoral that have been so for centuries. It seems like you believe society makes the rules, and to violate those rules is itself immoral. Is that right?

              • Logic makes the rules, otherwise we’d have Muslims protesting outside your house and stoning your wife and mother because they’re “immoral” women since they don’t wear the veil.

              • Logic is a process of deduction. it doesnt have any actual content.

              • Logical reasoning makes the rules, genius. It’s the deductive process that allows us to create intelligent systems that respect people’s rights without having to fall back on mythology- which is what was used before we knew better.

              • Pink

                So far you are the only one who has began name calling and insults. You arent welcome to do that here. I appreciate you sharing your view that I wholly disagree with. But civility is required. I also am under no illusion that you could care less about being a regular commenter here, even though I would welcome you do be such. But not acting like a school yard bully. I will be deleting any new comments which name calling and insults are used.

              • Morality cannot be determined by logic.

              • and it can be determined by a series of 2000 year old legends passed on through middle eastern camel herders? Hardly. Morality is determined by honesty, kindness, generosity, good-will, charity and the protection from harm. A moral person is one who makes a positive impact on their family and community and that has nothing to do with the consensual sex they have.

              • Again your standards to define morality are ambiguous and based on opinions.

                Our society does indeed equate abortion as being good. You are obviously deluded it you think otherwise.

                YOU have determined by YOUR opinion that Nazi ideology was illogical. It is YOUR opinion of what logic is versus what logic really is.

              • No it’s not my “opinion” that Nazi ideology was illogical. We know it was illogical because the Jews were not responsible for the German pre-war economic crisis. Therefore it was a false and illogical claim. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

              • Now Pink decides morality is based on whether one is “doing something positive for themselves and others or something negative.” So by what standard do we decide if something is positive or negative? Their are many in the psychological industry who have stated that adults having sex with children can be a very positive experience for them! Anyone having sex with an animal can say it was positive for the animal because they can claim the animal enjoyed it.

                Oh, don’t you just love these arbitrary standards of morality!!

              • The standard? The standard is logic and reason and it’s very easy to apply, that’s how mankind developed the law.
                corporal injury = harmful
                murder = harmful
                education = positive
                charity = positive
                There’s nothing arbitrary about it.

              • Logic has nothing to do with morality. Logic is a process of reasoning, like division is a process of math. Maybe you shouldnt use the term logic if you mean something else. Murder = Bad isn’t logic.

              • Logic is the process that allows us to arrive at a valid conclusion.
                Murder is bad because we believe as a society that each person is entitled to life and another person does not have the right to interfere with that right. That’s logical reasoning.

              • thats not logical reasoning, its moral reasoning. And you havent as yet substantiated any of your claims, only asserted them to be logical. you also have use modern western society as the arbitrary standard without argumentation. you have asserted that sex requires consent but not imprisonment, only by assertion. You havent done much more than tell me I should accept your view because mine is old.

              • It’s moral reasoning arrived at by the use of logic.
                There’s no doubt modern western society is logically more moral than the rest of the world.
                We respect individual rights and do not allow one citizen’s rights to take precedence over another citizen’s rights. That is logically more fair than opposite would be.
                I haven’t asserted that sex requires consent but imprisonment does not, SOCIETY has arrived at that conclusion through reasoning. Your right to have sex does not translate to your right to force another being to have sex. Society decided that.

              • apparently then all of the (what you consider) atrocities in the bible and the biblical laws were good then, because society approved. Also slavery in America was ok too, because society approved. And by definition MLK Jr. was acting immorally when he was fighting for civil rights for blacks because he was bucking society.

                The “society says so” reasoning doesnt work because it can make any behavior good and any behavior bad as long as enough people believe it.

              • I didn’t say that at all. The big difference between free modern society and our predecessors is that they didn’t use logic and reason, instead they used tradition and mythology to justify things like slavery. Logic and reason weren’t used to justify slavery, the bible was.

              • What about when society declares murder = good?

                Our current society says murdering children in the womb = good.

                Nazi society said murdering Jews in the gas chamber = good.

                Logic cannot be used to determine morality, because any arbitrary standard can be used as the starting point.

              • You are confusing logic with tyranny. Just because society allows abortion doesn’t mean society think abortion is a good thing. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone say abortion is a good thing. I think it’s an awful thing that some people consider when they feel they have no other choice.
                Nazi ideology wasn’t based in logic, it was based on a false premise. They (illogically and wrongly) proposed the notion that Jews were responsible for the financial suffering of the German people which was actually the result of the first war. That’s illogical and arbitrary reasoning.
                I would suggest you could make much better arguments if you take just half an hour of your time and read this: http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/fallacies/

  21. Pink,
    After re-reading a few of your comments I think I can see that your view is (relatively) coherent and internally consistent. I can understand how you logically came to this particular conclusion about morality. But there are a number of problems here:
    1) You continually seem to refer to something called “civilized society” (4:16pm & 9:10 am). Are you referring to 21st century America? Or to 21st century Syria? Or to 400BCE Egyptian culture? Or to 2nd century greek/roman culture? All of these can be referred as “civilized society” – but they have radically different views of morality. Civilized society of 200 years ago condoned slavery. Was this acceptable since, of course, it didn’t violate any cultural norms of the period? Or was there something fundamentally wrong with it?
    2) Your views are based on a few fundamental assumptions: You seem to state that the “ultimate good” is “honesty, law, responsibility and respect for one’s self” (posted at 5:20pm). Where does this idea come from? Is it your personal opinion that these are the “ultimate values”? And what do you mean by “law”? Law is just a reflection of the morality of society. Using this as a standard is circular reasoning.
    3) You’ve already said that you don’t have any sort of sacred text. (7:09pm) Therefore, are all these statements simply your personal opinion or is there any sort of higher authority that you are appealing to? Why should I accept your views? You won’t accept my view of morality. Why are you asking me to accept your view of morality?

    You see, as Christians we are appealing to a higher standard. You don’t accept that standard – and I’m not asking you to do so. But I *am* asking you to allow us to follow that standard. Society is asking Christians to change their view of morality by exchanging something that we view as sacred (scripture) with something that shifts over time (cultural norms).

  22. Tumeyn,
    1. By civilized society I mean the modern & free western world where populations have rights and there are laws to protect those individual rights.
    2. My view comes from logic and reason. 500 years before the alleged birth of Christ, Confucius said “Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you”. I think that’s the basic concept of morality, do no harm. The second point is empathy, recognizing we’re all connected. If I see someone hurt on the street, should I help them? Yes, because I can recognize that it could be me in that position and that empathy is sufficient motivation. So a good definition of morality is the combination of the passive (do no harm) and the active (do good).
    3. I’m not appealing to “higher authority” unless you’re referring to the authority of great thinkers. What I am saying is that morality isn’t an arbitrary concept in someone’s religious book. I say that the Muslim belief that it’s “immoral” for a woman to show her hair is nothing to do with genuine morality. It’s a construct. Orthodox Jews believe that it’s immoral to eat shell-fish or bacon and that’s also not a reference to true morality. The head-scarf wearers and those who don’t eat bacon are not necessarily more moral than those who do.
    4. And finally, I’m not asking that you accept my view. I’m suggesting that issues of morality that aren’t about logic and reason be left to private individuals. Head-scarves, bacon, consensual sexuality, private contractual agreements (as is the case for civil marriage) et al. belong to the individual and should not be interfered with by others. Society isn’t asking Christians to change their views, it’s simply asking Christians to apply their religion to their own lives instead of forcing other people to live by the tenets of their religion. That’s the whole concept behind freedom of religion.

  23. I’ve been watching Pink’s arguments and chuckling, because John is demonstrating how totally illogical it is for someone with no moral standards but his own opinions declaring morality which everyone should agree with!

    As John pointed out, an animal is not human and does not have the right to consent to something. Pink wants to say it has to consent to sex, but not imprisonment or medical experimentation. The fact that Pink requires consent at all is nothing but an arbitrary standard; why doe anyone/anything have to consent to someone else’s use? By what moral standard? OH, he says current civilization. Do you mean the current civilization which denies consent to the unborn? Do you mean the current political administration and its followers who deny consent for their mandated health insurance? My, my we are certainly arbitrary in our demands for consent for that which impinges on another!

    And why shouldn’t we demand consent from an animal for work or as a pet? Do you think an animal wants to do the work forced upon it? Oh, Pink decides as long as you give proper care to an animal it is okay to impinge upon its will. So if I kidnap a person and make sure I give him plenty of food and shelter and medical care, then I don’t need his consent to imprison him?

    And what defines “civilized society” if there is no moral standard higher than one’s personal opinions? Nazi Germany considered themselves quite civilized and yet murdered 12 million undesirables, as well as experimented on them and often used them for sex and work. Soviet Russia also considered themselves civilized as they exterminated millions of people, as did Pol Pot’s regime. Islam considers themselves civilized and yet throughout history they have murdered people for just disagreeing with them. SO what defines “civilized”?

    And then Pink decides that an adult son or daughter cannot have the ability to consent to sex with their parent. By what right does Pink make this decision for another person? Isn’t that violating THEIR rights? Doesn’t Pink make himself the moral arbiter as to whether another person has the mental capacity to decide for themselves who to have sex with?

    Pink continues to deny that sexual relations have anything to do with morality, but any study of history will show that when sex runs rampant outside of real marriage, the society self-destructs.

    tumeyn has the perfect response to Pink’s morality, but will Pink even recognize it? Of course not; he claims to appeal to logic and reason. Well Nazi logic and reasoning exterminated 12 million people. I’d prefer a much higher standard than an individual’s “logic and reasoning,” especially since he has demonstrated how poor his logic and reasoning are!

    Then Pink claims he wants Christians “to apply their religion to their own lives instead of forcing other people to live by the tenets of their religion” all the while he and his ilk are refusing to live THEIR own lives and are instead forcing Christians to live by the tenets of THEIR atheistic, sexually immoral religious beliefs or else be punished for not sanctioning them. Who is forcing their beliefs on whom? The only thing Christians are wanting is to not be forced to sanction homosexuality. We are not forcing anything on anyone.

    Lowerarchy makes a deal about being no God and that the planet is dying. Part of the reason the planet is dying socially is because of sexual immorality ruining society. His psychobabble is pitted against a real God who he will have to answer to – the real God who will not let the planet die.

    Oh the irony of the worldview confusion of the unbeliever! Cognitive dissonance reigns supreme.

  24. Glenn,
    It’s nearly impossible to debate with someone who has the iq of a ripe melon, which is obviously your case, so I won’t waste my time repeating everything I have already said and which you evidently don’t have the required education or intelligence to comprehend.
    The very mention of bestiality and pedophilia is a fallacy called the slippery slope fallacy:
    Definition: The arguer claims that a sort of chain reaction, usually ending in some dire consequence, will take place, but there’s really not enough evidence for that assumption. The arguer asserts that if we take even one step onto the “slippery slope,” we will end up sliding all the way to the bottom; he or she assumes we can’t stop partway down the hill.

    Example: “Animal experimentation reduces our respect for life. If we don’t respect life, we are likely to be more and more tolerant of violent acts like war and murder. Soon our society will become a battlefield in which everyone constantly fears for their lives. It will be the end of civilization. To prevent this terrible consequence, we should make animal experimentation illegal right now.” Since animal experimentation has been legal for some time and civilization has not yet ended, it seems particularly clear that this chain of events won’t necessarily take place. Even if we believe that experimenting on animals reduces respect for life, and loss of respect for life makes us more tolerant of violence, that may be the spot on the hillside at which things stop—we may not slide all the way down to the end of civilization. And so we have not yet been given sufficient reason to accept the arguer’s conclusion that we must make animal experimentation illegal right now.

    Like post hoc, slippery slope can be a tricky fallacy to identify, since sometimes a chain of events really can be predicted to follow from a certain action. Here’s an example that doesn’t seem fallacious: “If I fail English 101, I won’t be able to graduate. If I don’t graduate, I probably won’t be able to get a good job, and I may very well end up doing temp work or flipping burgers for the next year.”

    I haven’t personally defined where society requires consent, society has done that on its own. I have however explained in very simple terms the reasoning behind how society arrived at those conclusions and even an imbecile like you shouldn’t have too much trouble understanding.
    Society doesn’t require consent for animals being pets or even being killed and eaten because arguments for both those issues have been put in the context of survival and co-existence. On the other hand society does require consent for sex in that YOU cannot have sex with anyone who is not capable of consenting.

    And do stop deluding yourselves. We don’t want anything to do with religious nut-jobs. You are free to believe in ridiculous myths invented by ignorant middle eastern camel herders two thousand years ago. You’re free to follow your religion, you’re even free not to use medicine and just pray your diseases away. But that’s not what you want, you want to use the law and bans to force everyone in society to follow your alleged “morality”.
    Legalizations don’t force anyone to behave in any way. Illegalizations force everyone to follow a rule. You want your religious beliefs to be the law of the land thereby trampling on everyone else’s freedom.

  25. Pink’s arguments seem to very often start with ad hominem attacks – which is typical for people who have no logical argument for their irrational beliefs.

    Let me explain that the “slippery slope” argument can very often be a valid argument, as has been demonstrated already with the same-sex fake marriage debate, where it was claimed that saying polygamy would follow was a slippery slope argument but already there are discussions as to the legitimacy of denying polygamy if homosexual “marriage” is allowed. It is happening in front of us. It was also claimed that using pedophilia probably being sanctioned as an example of what would happen if we sanction homosexual behavior, and yet here we are being told that, just like homosexuality, pedophilia is just another sexual orientation.

    So now I’m an “imbecile” when I point out that various societies have determined when consent is needed which has led to mass murder and genocide, and that this is a reason societies should not be the standard of moral decisions? And what about the societies – current countries – where a 12-year-old can give consent to sex?

    Pink certainly continues to find justification why animals don’t have the right to consent to anything else they are used for, but must not be used for sex because they can’t consent.

    Pink derides and denounces the Christian faith as fraudulent while praising his own atheist religion as something rational and logical. Too funny.

    He also claims that the legalization of same-sex fake marriage doesn’t “force anyone to behave in any way.” That is one of the biggest lies of the homosexualists, as John has continually demonstrated. If a Christian photographer doesn’t want to behave in a way that would place them at the scene of a same-sex perversion pretending to be a wedding, then by golly that photographer will be punished! Oh, but no one is forcing her to behave in a particular way now, are they?

    What Pink and his ilk want is THEIR religious beliefs – atheism – to be the law of the land.

  26. Hey pink, the link you provide should be heeded by you with all your logic fallacies. You don’t seem to understand that logic cannot determine morality. All you do is plug in your beliefs and opinions into a syllogism and then come to the conclusion you already had – you know, circular reasoning!

    I guess Pink is one of the reasons we are told to not answer a fool according to his folly, nor throw our pearls before swine.

  27. Glenn,
    Trust me, read it and make an effort at understanding because it will help you debate more competently. Once you understand how to organize your premise, your supporting facts and your conclusion, everything you say becomes more effective.
    When you can’t see the difference between speculation and fact, it has a negative effect on your ability to make an argument and educated people can easily dismiss your statements.

    • Pink,
      I am very, very familiar with logic and the use of it in debates. The problem is that YOU don’t understand the limitations of logic. It CANNOT be used to determine morality.

      You claim the Nazi ideology was illogical based upon YOUR opinion as to what it was based on. The fact that Jews didn’t have anything to do with the economic system has no bearing on their logic. They knew that fact. It was used only as a way of rousing the anti-semitic beliefs of the populace. But their ideology was as sound logically as your ideology in that it was all based on their opinions. They believed the Jews to be subhuman. Fit that into an opinion based syllogism and you arrive at the logical basis for exterminating them.

      You cannot use opinions and beliefs to derive morality. Using opinions and beliefs will only demonstrate whether your beliefs or opinions are logical based on the syllogism formulated. Logic deals with facts, not opinions. Logic cannot deal with morality, because even morality is based on opinions and beliefs. While Christian morality is based on the standards set by God, atheist morality is based on the standard of personal opinion, including the opinion of societies who are in charge.

      What we can use logic for is how we have all used it above – to show the complete inconsistency of your arguments, and the irrationality of your worldview – which is based on cognitive dissonance.

      • Darling,
        You don’t even recognize the difference between an opinion and a fact.
        It’s not my opinion that Nazi ideology used illogical statements to convince the German people that Jews were responsible for the pre-war economic state of the country. it’s what they actually did. They therefore abandoned logic to embrace an illogical concept: blaming the Jews.

        Christian morality isn’t morality at all. It’s a succession of interpretations of legends and myths that have been used for centuries to persecute opponents, undermine women’s rights and even justify slavery. When people abandon logic and reason and substitute it for mythology, that’s what happens.
        And just so you know, when someone bases a decision on something illogical, the resulting decisions will not be considered “logical”, instead you’ll have a succession of errors.
        Furthermore this alleged Christian morality has nothing to do with any god. It does have something to do with the early Catholics who compiled and edited the New Testament to suit their ignorant ideology of 2000 years ago when people commonly died from food poisoning.

  28. Pink,
    Are you suggesting that the Nazi’s genocide was bad simply because they didn’t offer a compelling REASON for the genocide? Genocide is Ok, just as long as you have a logical reason for doing it. Is that what you are suggesting?

    Retributive justice is always logical, in my mind. But that doesn’t make it morally acceptable. I can certainly understand why the Palestinians use suicide bombs to attack Isreal. It’s perfectly logical. But it isn’t morally acceptable.

  29. Pink writes: “And just so you know, when someone bases a decision on something illogical, the resulting decisions will not be considered “logical”, instead you’ll have a succession of errors.”

    Finally, a statement we can agree upon! The problem is that we don’t agree on what is logical and what isn’t. You are claiming that your version of logic is superior to mine. The problem is that (in your world) there is no final “Judge” to decide between us. You have absolutely no grounds for saying that your logic is superior to mine. Perhaps you justify it by numbers? (“Might makes right”) It seems that we can only agree to disagree. You have your morality, and I’ll have mine. You have made absolutely no

    Oh, and I love your last statement: “Christian morality has [to do] …with the early Catholics who compiled and edited the New Testament to suit their ignorant ideology of 2000 years ago ”
    You are way out of your league here. I suggest you read some books on the New Testament (or perhaps even the New Testament itself) before you attempt to engage in that debate! There is absolutely no evidence for your statement, unless you consider “The DeVinchi Code” to be evidence… But I wouldn’t suggest referencing the movie in a term paper. Dig a bit deeper and I think you’ll be rather surprised at what you find.

  30. Hi, Tumeyn
    I’m by no means suggesting the Nazi genocide was bad “simply” because it was logically unsound. I’m illustrating how they used/abused irrationality to achieve their goals. Which is my main problem with irrational thought processes.
    I think a logical argument for retributive justice could be made, but then we’d have to compare it with arguments for other types of justice and after we do that we have to look at the greater context of society and what would be more beneficial to whole. Would retributive justice achieve better results than those set out by modern law? I imagine it’s a grey area. I do think the current model is imperfect and isn’t achieving the desired results. Should prisoners be instead made to work and compensate their victims whilst they’re in prison? Should they be educated while in prison? I don’t have a good answer, but I think we could formulate a better model than what there is.

  31. Sorry Tumeyn, but I’m a historian who specialized in Catholic art. I know early Christian history back to front and back again. I know how they decreed things in order to maintain their control over the people. I know how for centuries the colour blue was only permitted in paintings that depicted the virgin Mary and how only she could be dressed in that colour. So I would suggest it is not me who is “out of my league”.

    The superiority of logic isn’t an opinion. It’s a mathematical equation.
    e.g. smoking may lead to cancer, hence if you smoke you may develop cancer. That’s a logical conclusion.
    The bible says something is immoral, therefore it’s immoral. That’s not logical because there is nothing to support the idea that the bible is a moral authority.

  32. Oh, how I wish I had the time right now to jump fully into this fray. It seems strange to me that a discussion on the morality of sex does not include any mention of the purpose of sex, procreation, and how that purpose determines so much about how sex is had.

    Briefly, and jumping right to another point, if “doing good/doing no harm” is a deciding factor in determining morality, how does one judge the selfishness of engaging in sex? Selfishness is usually considered a negative, and therefor, somewhat immoral behavior. Engaging in sexual activity is often called an “act of love” when more accurately, and indeed logically (since logic seems an important method here), it is an act of lust made “moral” when engaged in with someone one claims to love. But even within a legitimate marriage, sex is mostly for the benefit of the individual who wants it, rather than the partner. Consider the use of the “headache” ploy to avoid sex or the diminishing lack of libido in some that leads to avoiding sexual advances. Now, imagine no pleasure being derived at all from the act and how much would anyone care to take part then? Another argument for the selfishness of the act.

    Another point goes to the incest argument and the notion of consent. Adult siblings or parent/child relationships might indeed include some authority/subordinate dynamic, but then, most relationships do to some extent. It is difficult to determine absolute equality between two people, especially when dealing with sexuality, one might be prone to subordinate one’s self in order to participate more often, and another might use whatever power at hand over the other to force compliance. The argument against incestuous relationships is arbitrary if the argument is speaking only about “consenting” adults.

    Perhaps more later. Gotta go.

  33. Pink writes: “I’m a historian who specialized in Catholic art. I know early Christian history back to front and back again. I know how they decreed things in order to maintain their control over the people. I know how for centuries the colour blue was only permitted in paintings ”

    Oh good. I thought for a minute you were going to say that you knew a great deal about the ancient christian documents. After all, you did claim that the catholic church edited the New Testament documents. (your post at 1:53)

    Of course the church abused its power at time. No one denies that. I’m denying that they did any significant editing of the New Testament documents. You can say what you like about the church – but if you are going to make claims about manuscripts of the Bible, I suggest that you back it up with evidence. There is loads, and loads and loads of it. Last I heard there were about 6 million pages ancient biblical text in existence. Therefore there are MULTITUDES of textual variants. The problem (for you) is that the VAST majority of these variants are punctuation and spelling variants. I’m not aware of a single variant in existence that affects even a minor doctrine or moral statement of the New Testament. If you have evidence that says otherwise, I’d love to hear it. (I know, this is off-topic)
    see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textual_variants_in_the_New_Testament

  34. Tumeyn,
    Do you know how much of Paul’s writing was actually Paul’s? Investigate that and I’m sure you’ll be surprised.

    • Ehrman makes bold claims about the new testament. I have read his books, and he takes great imaginative liberty with extrapolation. The idea is basically: we have a couple writings from Paul which are undisputed. Others don’t have the same flow and word usage, therefore he didn’t write them.

      This isn’t uncommon, if you read my blog from 3 years ago at it’s start up to now, the word usage and style undergoes a massive change. In fact, I could put two or three together without my name to them and they would look like three different authors.

      Ehrman isnt the only one who does this either, and they all make the same leap. They make suppositions based on extrapolations.

      • Not really, the general historical consensus based on language, intellectual style and content is that much of Paul’s alleged writing only happened in the 2nd century. That’s not an extrapolation, that’s the mainstream analysis.

        • For a historian you don’t know much about church history. The early church in the late and very early first century were already extensively quoting the new testament.

          • Hmmm… have you ever heard of the council of Nicea?
            They were quoting bits and pieces of what was to become the new testament and choosing what was going to be a part of it.

            • Hmmmm….what happened at nicea was codifying what was already in place. There were heretics like Marcion who were circulating redacted versions of gospels and adding other books. what nicea did was officialize the canon which was already being used so that Christians knew which books were authentic and which were forged. You should get your facts from the primary sources, not dan brown and not bart ehrmans popular works. I no longer believe you are an actual historian.

              • LOL, despite your last few sentences I’ve followed you because of this comment. I’m impressed that you care enough about the actual history to take the step to investigate it.
                You have to take into consideration, from a historical perspective, that the people making decisions in the early church and specifically at Nicea (and every other council) had an agenda. Think of Vatican II and then imagine how that would have been 1700 years ago.
                BTW, I’m not a historian in the general sense, I’m an Art Historian, which is slightly different since we only deal with things that are palpable- so my occupation is reserved to the verification of known history rather than constructing or creating historical theory which is for example what Ehrman or Richard Carrier do :)

              • Thanks pink

                Like I said earlier I hope you read and interact here in the future. I don’t think its accurate to view the Roman Catholic church of Vatican 2 with the church of the first few centuries. Even though the RCC claims direct lineage and authority, it was very different back then.

              • I’d say it was more cut-throat back then (sometimes literally). There were different factions, there was the orthodox group who broke off, there were the Roman Emperors who wanted to be “Holy Roman Emperors” and not just anointed but revered by the followers of the church.
                If you take just religious sculpture for instance, I can give you regulations that you’d probably find very surprising. The virgin Mary must be covered in blue robes, or sculptures of the Virgin Mary must not be figuratively carved below the waist (only a block or pole structure was permitted during certain periods). If I give you the church history on abortion you’d probably be even more shocked. Have you heard of the fetus animatus and fetus inanimatus concept? It changed repeatedly, but basically for most of Christianity’s history abortion was permitted as long as it happened before the fetus animatus period. That was different for boys and girls as girls were said to receive “their souls” at least a month after boys.

  35. Pink,
    Don’t call me “darling” – I’m not one of your boyfriends. Your reading comprehension needs improvement. I didn’t deny the FACT of what the Nazi’s told the populace. I stated that had no bearing on their ideology. Their ideology was that Jews were subhuman, and stated that the Nazis “kew that fact” about them not being responsible for the economic problem. You raised a straw man to knock down.

    As tumeyn already stated, you just demonstrated that you have no clue about the history of the Bible.

    The Nazis saw all of their ideology as rational and logical, as do you. The problem is that your premises start out flaw and will end with a flawed conclusion, but logically correct.

    You still continue to claim that logic can determine what is moral. That idea in itself is illogical!

    You may understand Roman Catholic art and later Roman Catholic doctrine (post 4th century), but the Bible was around long before that. You’ve demonstrated your ignorance of that history. And by the way, Roman Catholicism is NOT representative of Biblical Christianity.

    There is plenty to support the idea that the Bible – i.e., the word of God – is a moral authority. God is the creator. But you only recognize yourself as your own god and have place yourself as the moral authority. Since every human being can therefore be their own moral authority, you have competing moralities with nothing to judge any to be right or wrong. THAT is illogical.

    By the way: all of Paul’s writings were actually his. Just because you can find some liberal to make wild speculations, that doesn’t change the truth of the matter.

  36. Marshalart,
    A number of your statements are factually and scientifically incorrect. The purpose of sex is not solely procreation, especially not in primates. In fact, only 3% of sex results in procreation, the other 97% is for pleasure alone. Similarly, palate in an evolutionary sense served to recognize the bitterness of poisons, but doubles as a method of achieving pleasure. In primates, social animals, sex is a method of social interaction and in some groups of primates it’s also a method of establishing hierarchy. By stating it’s “only for” reproduction you’re appealing to the False Dilemma fallacy.
    Your assertion of sex being selfish is baseless since it’s an act from which two (or more) people can derive pleasure. Therefore it’s not necessarily selfish. Selfish would be an act that only serves one person in which another is forced to participate.
    As for your defence of incest, the best the law can do is form general guidelines to avoid abusive situations, hence the prohibitions on incest and prosecution of domestic abuse which are generally characterized as an abuse of power.

  37. Pink,

    You are wrong. The “mainstream” scholars are the true Christians who acknowledge the truth of Paul’s writings. It is only liberals who recently have decided to deconstruct the Bible.

    Your total lack of historical knowledge of early Christianity is thoroughly demonstrated by your claim that the council of Nicea determined what was to be the N.T. This is certainly DaVinci Code nonsense. The N.T. was already determined by the end of the 2nd century – Nicea only confirmed what was already determined by the Church. For a historian, you are surprisingly deficient in your knowledge of these facts. I might suggest some good books by Phillip Wesly Comfort, or F.F. Bruce.

  38. Glenn,
    Sorry again, but what you say is coloured with bias. If you say only Christian scholars’ historical theories are “correct”- you’ve not taken the step John has taken which is to thoroughly investigate what is fact, what is fiction and what is (or could be) just speculation. That’s not a serious or competent approach at understanding or studying history.

    • Pink,
      You claimed “mainstream” scholars were who you were citing. My point was your misuse of the word “mainstream.” You pick to listen to the ramblings of a few liberals who want to deconstruct the Bible, and who twist all meaning from any text, and then you call them “mainstream.” They are not mainstream, nor do they represent the truth. There are plenty of secular historians who I have read who also disagree with your so-called “mainstream.”

      Yes Nicea had an agenda – to keep the truth separated from the error. Just like you have an agenda of promoting homosexuality and denigrating Christianity.

      • Ehrman is a scholar who’s considered a Christian apologist by the mainstream and even he agrees parts of the new testament are interpolations.
        I won’t argue the council of Nicea with you because you don’t seem to know (or even show interest) in it or what was happening at the time.

  39. “Ehrman is a scholar who’s considered a Christian apologist by the mainstream ”

    Glad I just caught the end of this thread so I won’t waste time reading any more. Ehrman has been explicitly non-Christian for many years. He is a Lefty darling because of it. Anyone who considers him a Christian apologist is ignorant of the truth.

  40. Ehrman is by no means a “lefty darling”. A left leaning academic would be Carrier or Hitchens. And I think it’s a monumental mistake to presume Christianity belongs to the right-wing of politics. By doing so you’re perverting the religion itself and making it about something it’s not. Even someone who’s non-religious, like me, can see that the original intent of the Christian ideology wasn’t to oppress or destroy anyone- and that’s what modern politics are about, an us versus them ideology.
    If you’ve read Ehrman’s work you would know he’s a proponent of Christian ideology in a very deep sense and sometimes he does so at the expense of facts. His most recent book, “Did Jesus Exist?” was pure apologetics and heavily criticised because many times he jumped from unsound history to conclusions without questioning the historical basis for his arguments.

  41. Pink,

    “The purpose of sex is not solely procreation, especially not in primates. In fact, only 3% of sex results in procreation, the other 97% is for pleasure alone. “

    I am greatly impressed with your ability to procure from primates their intentions when engaging in sexual behavior. My interviews with chimps proved fruitless. They didn’t seem to understand the questions. (Note of clarification: I’m referring here to actual chimps and not liberal Democrats often confused with them. They also often fail to understand questions put to them, and also fling their poop, as evidenced by OWS participants. This comparison is unfortunate and undeserved for the chimps.)

    But you are (purposely?) confusing purpose with intention. The purpose of intercourse is uniquely procreation. That we choose to engage for purposes of personal pleasure is irrelevant to that fact. Indeed, the pleasure derived from the act is by design to insure procreation takes place at all, thus insuring the survival of the species. It is human invention (deception?) to suggest the purpose of sexual activity is for purposes of pleasure.

    Indeed, humanity has taken that pleasurable aspect to insist the pleasure is meant to be enjoyed for its own sake as if that was the purpose of its existence. From that point, it is easy to insist that every manner in which that pleasure might be procured is both equal and equally moral, except where subjective opinion says otherwise, as in the case of incest or bestiality. This is especially easy to do when one denies a higher power or the concept of good and evil having existed before any of us did.

    Getting back to your singular understanding of primate behavior, many species of animals use intercourse to establish hierarchy. But what is happening in these cases is still a matter of procreation, in that they dominant males are inseminating as many females as possible to keep the line going so that the strongest possible offspring is born to keep the species surviving. It is an instinctive action not compelled by personal desire as in the case of humans looking to get their jollies.

    Moving on…

    “Your assertion of sex being selfish is baseless since it’s an act from which two (or more) people can derive pleasure. Therefore it’s not necessarily selfish. Selfish would
    be an act that only serves one person in which another is forced to participate.”

    This might be true if it was common that one of the two could not derive pleasure but participated anyway. As long as each derives pleasure, the selfish aspect is accurate since the pleasure of the individual is generally paramount or of more concern to the individual than is the pleasure of the partner. Once again, imagine deriving no pleasure or consider women who use the headache excuse to avoid sex, or those whose libido is low or non-existent. How many of these people have sex at the same rate as younger, sexually healthy individuals? I’d wager the numbers are far less as a result. Thus, the pleasure of the partner is not the basis for engagement, but merely an added bonus that, frankly, serves to insure the pleasure of the individual. By this I mean that as long as one’s partner is enjoying the experience as well, then one can feel certain his own pleasure will be met. That’s selfishness as well. (Keep in mind, I refer here only to the sexual act, and not the nature of one to maintain one’s fidelity and devotion to one’s partner regardless)

  42. Marshalart,
    You’re the one confusing purpose and intention by appealing to the either/or fallacy yet again. Hands are used to eat, to drive cars, to climb trees, to touch people we love. In higher primates we KNOW scientifically that sex is not just for reproduction because the female orgasm (only present in higher primates) serves no reproductive purpose. It is purely a matter of pleasure derived from sexual interaction. A woman can have successive orgasms in a short period of time and even whilst pregnant.
    If you don’t know much about biology and science, that’s something you should try to avoid pontificating on because your incorrect assertions will diminish the validity of your argument.
    “It is human invention (deception?) to suggest the purpose of sexual activity is for purposes of pleasure.”
    I could make a joke here about religion. Human invention (deception?) but anyway, you are fooling yourself and abandoning logic by deciding that something cannot have more than one purpose. You’re also ignoring scientific research. As I’ve already explained the evolutionary perspective of the palate is that it existed firstly to identify bitter tastes and protect an animal from eating natural poisons. It’s also used to derive pleasure in eating chocolate or a steak. See, easy, two purposes!
    As for sexual pleasure your assertion is moot because each individual case will stand or fall on its own merits. Some people are more sexually generous than others. There’s no rule that sex is for “selfish” ends. I can’t speak to the relationships you’ve had but I know that in mine it’s been different every time and with every partner. Sometimes the other person is more interested in having sex than me and vice-versa- and still we (or they) do it because we’re willing to acknowledge and fulfil the desires of our partners. There’s nothing selfish in that.

    • Pink,
      Humans are not primates – nor are they animals at all. Humans are a distinct species of creature.

      I think Marshall is just a bit in error for this reason. There are two purposes for sexual relations in humans and that is the procreative and unitive functions. Procreative is obvious right up front. But the unitive function is what bonds the husband and wife together. The orgasm does indeed provide pleasure and and emotional bonding to the partner.

      When the pleasure aspect is seen from a hedonistic worldview, it trivializes the sexual unitive function. The emotional bonding takes place, and is more pronounced with women than with men, which is why women are more emotional about a breakup than men usually are. Might I suggest a very good recent book for you on this subject? “The Ring Makes All The Difference,” by Glenn T. Stanton. It delves much into this aspect by bringing into concise review of the many studies which have been done over the years.

      The homosexual abuse of the body does not provide such a unitive function because of the non-complementary relationships. Homosexual relations are pure hedonism.

  43. Pink,
    Bart Ehrman denies the Resurrection. I’d hardly call him an evangelical apologists. Most wouldn’t even consider him a Christian. Actually, he has debated many evangelicals. See link below.

  44. Glenn,
    Earth to Mars, Earth to Mars. Humans are not animals? What are we? Inanimate objects? Vegetables?
    I mentioned primates because the female orgasm is only present in higher primates and humans. Groups in which, scientifically speaking the female orgasm has no relation to reproduction it’s social.
    There is no homosexual “abuse” of the body. As you still don’t understand consent, it’s not a surprise you still don’t understand the meaning of the word abuse.
    It’s funny when your kind, who repeatedly ignore and decry science as being “false” then try to pretend to understand and dominate scientific concepts. It’s rather ridiculous.

    • Pink,
      Humans are humans – not animals. Only evolutionists consider them to be animals. God created humans as a distinct species.

      The word “abuse” does not always include need of consent. The body has a specific design, including for sexuality. To abuse that design by misusing what human sexuality is for (scientifically proven by biology), is the main problem with homosexual relations.

      And yes, there are “regulations” for identifying true Christians – they are called non-negotiable doctrines. It is how the true faith is separated from the cults and other false belief systems. Erhman may belief in Christian “principles,” but he denies essential, non-negotiable doctrines. He is by definition a heretic.

      Catholics and protestants all adhere to the fundamental non-negotiables. They differ in the negotiables (although Romanism adds much heretical and other false teachings, which leads most protestants to call them cultic at best and a cult at worst.) Romanism was NOT the first voice of Christianity, and did not exist as such until beginning to develop in the late 4th century.

      • Define animal.
        I recommend you go back and investigate the early church. It’s Catholic. (Year 107) Ignatius of Antioch: Catholic. The New Testament: Catholic. Cyril, St. Augustine, Catholic and Catholic.
        Original Christianity: Catholic
        Certainly not a group of angry modern American protestants.

        Please don’t bother mentioning science as it’s something you obviously know nothing about.- and don’t even care about as you’re prepared to dismiss it conveniently and substitute it for mythology. The human body is multi-functional. The mouth serves to eat but can save your life if you ingest poison and need to vomit. The mouth can also serve for kissing, sex, and speaking! Oh my, all those different things!!! Too confusing for you?

        • Pink,
          Why is it when someone disagrees with you it’s only because they are ignorant of that subject? I am not ignorant of science. The human sex organs have a specific mating function; penis to vagina. Kissing (oral sex) does not affect that, since during sexual relations the use of the mouth is not limited to only the other mouth. But the anus was NEVER designed for the insertion of anything – it was designed for expelling waste. Biology 101. Heterosexuals who participate in anal sex are also abusing the body.

          Other than that, sexual relations are for bonding complementary partners – male and female. Two of a kind are deviant and perverse – Biology 101.

          Your bringing in red herrings of other uses for the mouth is totally stupid. Those are not part of the discussion.

          “Catholic” means “Universal.” It was indeed the universal, i.e. Catholic, faith. ROMAN Catholic became a corrupt version of Catholic faith, as did Eastern Orthodoxy (albeit not as corrupt). The original Catholic faith is the true Christian faith. Romanism is not. I suggest YOU study a bit more about the history of the Church.

          And, by the way, there were “protestants” from the time the church began its corruption. Everyone who protested against the corruption were executed, which is why they only survived in mountains and other isolated areas. Not all non-Catholics are Protestants, by the way. The term “Protestants” refers to those who protested Romanism during the Reformation and are now the mainline denominations. Many non-denominational assemblies exist which were never part of that movement, and will often more accurately reflect the church of the Bible.

          God is not mythology. You will indeed learn that truth some day.

          • LOL… your “interpretations” of biology are ridiculous; So are your assertions on anal sex- which studies reveal will be tried by 1 in every 3 heterosexual couples. Was the hand made for masturbation? How much do you know about the female anatomy? Do you know it serves for sex, urination and it’s also where babies find their way out of the body?
            What? Three different things? Yes, body parts can be used for different things. That’s not a red herring, that’s a fact. The mouth, the hand, the tongue, genitalia… multiple functions.
            As for Catholicism being the first form of Christianity, I won’t waste much time discussing it with someone who doesn’t know anything about history. Roman Catholicism is without any historical whatsoever the first and “official” Christianity.
            1.The Canons of the Council of Nicea are available online. Believe me, they don’t sound Protestant! The martyrs who had just come out of great persecution–many of the bishops present were hurt and maimed by the imperial soldiers because of their faith–are quite clearly what we would call “Catholic” as far as their view of Eucharist, the importance of the threefold offices of bishop, priest and deacon, the importance that the dying receive holy “viaticum”, periods of Penance for serious sins, etc. None of this sounds even remotely like Pat Robertson!

            2. The earliest known letter from a Church “father” is the letter of Clement and the Church of Rome to the Church at Corinth, c. 95 A.D. In it, Clement who had been ordained by Peter, mentions the importance of obeying the bishops which had been appointed by the apostles, talks about the bishops blamelessly “presenting the sacrifice” (eucharist!), and says at the end of the letter that the Church at Corinth is in grave danger if they do not listen to the words which the Holy Spirit has spoken “by us”. (Sounds like an early pope).

            3. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 110 A.D.), disciple of John, ordained by Peter, calls Holy Communion “the medicine of immortality” and says the Gnostics abstain from it because they do not believe it is “the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ and the cup of His blood”. That doesn’t sound like a Baptist! He also mentions that there is “one altar” from which Christians eat–and an altar is a place of *sacrifice*. Of course he regularly refers to “Christ our God”.

            4. Justin the Martyr (died 165 A.D.) and Irenaeus of Smyrna who became bishop of Lyon (c. 185 A.D.) speak of the Eucharist being “not common food” but “the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus”…

            All of that is Roman Catholicism. The American Evangelical movement is a breakaway sect of a breakaway sect. It’s Diet Pepsi to Catholicism’s Original Coca-Cola.

            • Pink,
              This is my last comment responding to you. I’m through answering a fool.

              Whether or not people try anal sex has no bearing on what the anus is for, and you know that. All your stupid suggestions of all the other uses for body parts are all red herrings because no one is denying the multiple uses of hands, feet, mouth, tongue, etc. The issue is what sexual relations were designed for. Biology 101 proves sexual relations were designed for procreation. Biology can not ascribe any other function. GOD ascribed the other function as unitive. So there is no “science” to say what sex is for other than procreation. The only reason “science” calls humans animals is because the religion of evolution places humans there. Humans are distinct species and not animals, which is why we have the capacity for reasoning, making moral judgments, and a whole lot of other abilities which animals don’t have.

              Your complete ignorance of the difference between “Catholic” and “Roman Catholic” is astounding. One of my fields of study is the history of the Christian church. ROMAN Catholicism did not exist until after the 4th Century, although the makings of this corrupt version had already begun during Constantine’s reign.

              Protestants by definition are those who protested the corruption of the Romanist church, therefore anyone protesting said corruption in the 4th and later centuries would be technically protestants.

              I am very familiar with Clement and other early ante-Nicean church fathers and have read their stuff. You need to read much closer if you think they believed in transubstantiation, the mariology as practiced today, purgatory, baptismal regeneration, indulgences, replacement theology, the priesthood as it is today, etc, etc, etc. Romanism is a corruption which began in the 4th Century. Were there corruptions of NT doctrines prior to this? Yes. But that was NOT Romanism.

              Romanism is no more original Christianity than is Mormonism. It is a corruption of the original Church. Eastern Orthodoxy, as corrupt as it is, is closer to the original!

              You sound like a Roman Catholic – or ex-Roman Catholic.

  45. Tumeyn,
    Do you mean you have regulations on which Christian’s are “true Christians”? Ehrman’s work is all about Christian apologetics. I’ve taken the time to read him and anyone who’s done that would agree he’s a proponent of Christian ideology. Your link doesn’t disprove that. Catholics can debate Protestants and both are still Christians.

    If you want to go down the “purist” line, Catholics could say they are the true Christians because they were the first voice of Christianity and continued to be that voice for 1500 years until break away cults started forming their own re-interpretations of Christianity.

    • Pink

      Ehrman is not a christian, he is a professing agnostic leaning toward atheism. His latest book about the historicity of Jesus is just an argument from history that Jesus actually existed. That is not a christian position, it is a historical one. Those who claim he never existed are actually on the fringe.

      • That’s partly true. I didn’t say Ehrman was a Christian but a Christian apologist, although he was an active Christian for most of his life.
        The scientific historical “consensus” was that Jesus existed as a fringe figure, although the evidence to support that is fairly questionable. As I’ve mentioned before I think the theory of negative evidence strongly counters the historicity of Jesus. If such a person existed as described in the bible, contemporary cross-references would be much more substantial.

        • Jesus wasn’t considered fringe. But aside from that, do you know how many secular writings are extant from 0-35 AD?

          • There’s a phenomenal amount of secular writing from the period. Romans and Jews wrote extensively on secular issues. Had he not been considered “fringe”, even according to the New Testament, he wouldn’t have been persecuted and killed. Right?

  46. Pink, sorry the weekend has sortof taken me away from this conversation. You wrote yesterday afternoon “Do you know how much of Paul’s writing was actually Paul’s? Investigate that and I’m sure you’ll be surprised.”

    Yes, I’ve read pretty extensively about NT authorship. There is virtually no one (liberal, conservative, or even non-Christian) who doubts Paul’s authorship of Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Almost all of these were written prior to 60 AD, and many suggest as early as ~45 AD. That’s 15-30 years after Christ’s death. These letters all attest to the deity of Christ, his bodily resurrection, and the purpose of his death (atonement for sin).

    You are certainly free to disagree with Paul’s statements, but it is sheer madness to believe that the early fathers “invented” these facts. The church was just barely even in existence at this time. This is ~250 years before the council of Nicea. Note also that one of the only mentions of homosexuality in the New Testament is by Paul (in Romans). Again, this is of undisputed authorship and undisputed date. This was NOT an invention of the early church fathers.
    See this link for a variety of early writings (Christian and nonchristian).
    I especially have enjoyed reading a bit of Clement, Polycarp, and Ignatius. These early church leaders (from ~80-130AD) quote from nearly every book of the New Testament – which thoroughly refutes your idea that the NT was assembled at the Council of Nicea. Read a bit of their writings. Again, you can certainly disagree with their opinions – but it is madness to believe that the New Testament was cobbled together hundreds of years after the events. All the evidence I’ve seen strongly indicates that the church fathers had virtually the entire New Testament in-hand by ~130AD.

  47. Wasn’t going to bother getting in on this, since so many already are in the conversation, but I did want to correct this part.

    “the female orgasm (only present in higher primates)…”

    Actually, female orgasms are *not* present only in higher primates. Pigs also have orgasms, and they last two days. I don’t know that anyone’s bothered studying them, but it was pretty obvious the cows on the farm I grew up on were also orgasmic.

    “… serves no reproductive purpose. ”


    Sexual intercourse triggers the release of the same chemicals in our brains as nursing (and drugs, like heroin). The release of these chemicals create a pleasurable “high” while at the same time creating new neural pathways in the brain. It is very similar to addiction – we basically become “addicted” to our sex partners and our nurslings. When it comes to sex, the more sex we have with one person, and the more pleasurable that sex is, the more our brains become “addicted” to that person, and the more we want and enjoy sexual pleasure with that person, as well as creating a bond between partners that is emotional as well as physical. This, obviously, has a procreative advantage. It is also why casual sex with multiple partners is so damaging. The neural pathways that would normally be “written” in favour of one partner, becoming stronger over the years, do not form. At the same time, the emotional response to disjointed chemical reactions causes distress. While our neural pathways have a lot more plasticity then we once believed, and we can purposefully encourage the creation of certain pathways, it is extremely difficult to “fix” problems, such as when treating OCD.

    Of course, people respond to these chemicals differently, and not everyone produces the same amount. Personally, I never got “high” while nursing my babies, but I know women who did. The intensity may differ on an individual basis, but the basic mechanism is the same.

  48. As Kunoichi’s last indicates, whether it was meant to or not, all of what both Pink and Glenn have said support my position rather well, rather than otherwise. What Glenn describes as “unitive” is also related to the procreative aspects of sex. The male and female are united as one, surprisingly matching God’s intention, with the release of chemicals in the brain during sex.

    As to purpose, Pink strains to make his point. Hands are used to eat? No kidding. But hands are meant to grab and hold which they do when eating. People rarely use their hands for reasons not intended by their design. People who have no hands to use learn to use their feet for the purpose, but the purpose of the feet is not to grab and hold. That they are developed to replace the missing hands does not change the purpose of their design. The purpose of sex is procreation. Period. That bonding might take place is a part of that, not a separate purpose.

    Other than for reasons of procreation, sexual intimacy is always a selfish endeavor. I understand why this is so difficult to wrap one’s mind around, but it is so nonetheless. That one might force one’s self for the benefit of a more eager partner does not diminish the truth of it. It is but one night out of thousands and does not alter that truth due to the fact that pleasure is still derived. It is not the same as never feeling pleasure when engaging in the act but still engaging for the benefit of a partner who can. Indeed, the selfishness goes the other way as the one not receiving pleasure will eventually look to avoid having to put out the effort.

    It is no use of trying to imagine I have some issue with sex, or that my wife does not enjoy sharing such time with me or some other hopeful negative one might wish to project upon me. I’m merely looking at the situation from an absolutely cold and clinical point of view. Sex for reasons other than procreation is entirely a selfish act, even when engaged in within the context of marriage. That doesn’t change simply because two people in love consent to the act. We each certainly hope our partners are enjoying it as much as we are, but we are concerned about how much we are more. Be honest.

    • Marshall,
      I really hate to disagree with you, but it is NOT selfishness to have sexual relations without procreation in mind. What you say by this is that those who are unable to have children are selfish when they are having sex.

      In Genesis, the first function of sex was, “the two became one.” it is the unitive function, which is separate from the procreative function. The two do not necessarily go together. Yes, the procreative function has to be part of the unitive function, but the unitive function does NOT have to be part of procreation.

  49. Kunoichi,
    You’re using anti-science. The female orgasm has no reproductive function. You’re also attempting to use science to justify your ideology where science doesn’t in any way support your ideology. This connection you’re making about being “addicted” to one person is particularly egregious and anti-scientific.
    Male orgasms exist, from an evolutionary perspective to encourage men to reproduce. Historically speaking, with more than one woman. The strongest/most powerful males reproduced more as did the most fertile women.
    Anthropological studies even demonstrate how multiple sexual partners were common in tribal culture. Nearly 70% of Amazonian tribes practiced multiple paternity, in which all of a woman’s sexual partners were “fathers” to her children. And I’m not even getting into forms of polygamy which have been present in Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Celtic traditions, Judaism- and most of Africa.
    On face value, it’s easy to say that women orgasm for the same reason: to encourage them to have sex and make babies. But in practice, compared to male orgasm, the female orgasm is much more difficult to achieve. There’s variation within individual women, and 10 percent of women never have them at all. And, unlike male orgasm, female orgasm isn’t a prerequisite for pregnancy. The male orgasm by no means “induces fidelity” or “addicts” a man to his sexual partner.
    If you like your ideology that’s fine, just don’t try to pervert science to justify it. Accept it for what it is a philosophy.

    • “Kunoichi, You’re using anti-science. … You’re also attempting to use science to justify your ideology where science doesn’t in any way support your ideology.”


      Pink, I must admit, your mental gymnastics have been entertaining and very revealing. You’ve jumped the shark so many times, it’s hilarious. Thank you for demonstrating such creative and selective… well, I was going to say rationalization, but there’s been nothing rational about any of your posts. I think the funniest part of all is how much you’ve made a fool of yourself while convinced everyone else is the fool.

      Thanks for the laugh.

      • Obviously it’s impossible to convince people who believe a magical sky fairy is making decisions for them and deciding their fates.
        Totally logical. The sky man impregnates an earth woman without her consent, so a version of himself is born so that version of his all powerful self can then go on to die, so then all of the population that sky man created in the first place is indebted to him and he can then…
        A fool, my dear, is someone who doesn’t have sufficient intelligence to even connect their premises with their conclusions. Fools are people so arrogant they presume to speak in the name of any god. Fools are those who mangle logic and science so they can continue fooling themselves into believing sky man likes them more than he likes other people.

      • Just out of curiosity, what’s your level of education? I imagine it can’t be very high for anyone who would pluck out of the air the ridiculous notion that has nothing to do with science about sex making partners become “addicted” to each other.
        You want real science, here’s a good article that is actually based on studies: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-09/what-point-female-orgasm

  50. Marshalart,
    You can only speak to your own (or your wife’s) sexual selfishness. I can assure you I’ve had sex at times when I wasn’t really in the mood and I’m sure the same is true of my partner- especially after being together for nearly twelve years.
    The multi-functionality of the body isn’t an opinion, it’s a fact. Which part of the evolution of the palate do you not understand? First it was for safety, then also for pleasure. Hair exists to protect us from the sun, some cultures also use it as an adornment, others make women hide it as something very private.
    You’re committing a reductionist fallacy: Feet are intended for walking, so getting a foot massage is “wrong”! Your premise does not justify your conclusion. Feet are biologically intended for walking, but I can also feel pleasure from a massage. I can also use them to kick someone which bears no connection to the intended “purpose” of transportation.
    Anal sex is a practice that has existed since the dawn of man. It’s heavily featured in the ancient Kama-Sutra, composed between 400 and 200BC. It’s practised by heterosexuals, gays and bisexuals. I imagine it’s less practised by Lesbians for obvious reasons although I’m sure they can get around the issue.
    As I’ve suggested before, before you enter into a debate, study logic so you’re not plucking things out of the air and making statements that invalidate themselves because your conclusion are entirely disconnected from your propositions.

  51. Pink, that’s great! You basically prove my point. The message of the Bible was believed from the very beginning — very, very close (well within the lifetime) of the eyewitnesses of the events. I especially like your Ignatius quote from 110AD.

    The events of the New Testament are not legend – legends don’t develop in the lifetime of the witnesses. The events are either true or they are deliberate fabrications. Read for yourself and judge. I’m assuming that you came to the belief that they were fabrications. Fine. But, as I’ve looked at the evidence, it just doesn’t fit a fabrication.
    1) Paul’s early belief in the Resurrection. He personally knew the apostles. If the empty tomb and resurrection appearances were false, then Paul knew it and his writings were a boldface lie. Perhaps so. But as I read his letters and learn about his life, this just doesn’t make sense.
    2) The early apostles (who would have all known about the lies) would have had to keep silent to the death. Christianity was already widely popular by ~60AD (as evidenced by writings of Tacitus). Therefore, people who were eyewitnesses would have been sought-out and listened to. Yet these same people (Steven, James, Matthew, Mark, Paul, Luke Peter and Simon) were all killed for their beliefs. People die for their faith all the time. But people will almost never die for something that they KNOW is a lie.
    3) The corroboration of the book of Acts and Paul’s writings. The events, places, and people mentioned in Acts fit very, very nicely with Paul’s writings. Again, this proves that either the events were true OR that Luke and Paul worked together to craft a deliberate fabrication.
    4) The lack of mentioning the destruction of the temple of AD70. There are many accounts of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the temple in particular, in AD70. Interestingly, none of them occur in the Bible. What does this suggest? It suggests that virtually all of the New Testament was completed before AD70. Remember, if the early church had known about the destruction of the temple, this would have been FANTASTIC apologetic material to use in convincing early followers.
    5) The influence of Peter in the writing of Mark. The book of Mark is widely believed to have been a compilation of Peter’s accounts of Jesus’s life. There is a huge amount of manuscript evidence for this (outlined in link below). Again, ether the gospel accounts were a total fabrication – or they were eyewitness accounts. None of this crap about legend fits the data.

  52. Tumeyn,

    I’ve seen so many adherents like you go through such painstaking detail of scripture and all the circumstances surrounding the stories… Why do you think your deity has been so uninvolved with the masses ever since? Why do you think it was such a one-time shot? “Here I am” and never to be physically seen or canonically written about again?

  53. Tumeyn,
    The bible is a mix of legend, myth and references to actual events and people. Books can actually be both things. In fact, historical fiction is one of my favourite areas of literature. A Tale of Two Cities is a wonderful example with references to real places, people and events.
    The legends that are in the new testament didn’t develop in just one generation. There are some interesting studies that trace them back to Homer (and others). Here’s a particularly interesting book: http://www.amazon.com/Does-New-Testament-Imitate-Homer/dp/0300097700
    As for the gospels it’s believed there was one original form, and all that followed were created on the back of it.

  54. Z, that’s a great question. As a Christian, I believe that the Bible records the working of God through history leading up till the time of Jesus. So what has happened since then? The New Testament teaches two things about this:
    1) That God’s spirit indwells every believer and works in and through their lives. Most Christians (including me) will tell you that a significant part of our faith is seeing God’s work in action. For example: It’s great to learn about the laws of gravity – but if I didn’t see them in action every day, it would be rather abstract and difficult to believe. Likewise, I see the teachings of the Bible worked out in my own life and in other’s lives. There *is* power in prayer. There *is* comfort from God. There *is* meaning and purpose in life when viewed through the lens of scripture. Does it make complete sense of everything? Of course not. But, like the laws of science, I see that the principles outlined in the Bible “work” to explain many of my own experiences.
    2) The Bible teaches that the church is the “Body of Christ”. I take that rather literally. Jesus has a physical presence in this world: The church. Yes, we’ve screwed up in some major ways (inquisitions, slavery, treatment of women, etc) But, I see some TREMENDOUS good coming from the church. How many Christian orphanages, hospitals, relief funds, universities, etc have been started? Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Yale, and Queens universities were all started by religious groups with the primary purpose of training pastors. The halting of slave trade and segregation were both pioneered by Christians who primarily were working out their faith in action. (William Wilberforce and M.L. King) The origins of modern science, of course, also had its roots in Christianity. The equality granted to people in the US is due to theistic (arguably Christian theism) beliefs (“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are CREATED equal…) Again and again and again through the last 400 years, you see that the motivation behind much of the great “positive” changes we’ve seen in history are due to Christians working out their faith in action. Yes, we’ve screwed up at times.

    So, you see, I don’t think God has been silent at all since the time of Jesus. He hasn’t been silent in my life – and He hasn’t been silent in history either.

  55. Pink,
    No, no, no. You can’t claim the Bible is historical fiction. Certainly not the New Testament. It claims to be non-fiction. Luke claims to have carefully investigated the claims and events of which he writes. Paul claims over and over again that the events (the resurrection) was real. Ditto for Peter. Ditto for John.

    Intentional fabrication, sure – maybe. Fiction, no way. Luke and Paul were contemporaries. Are you claiming that, together, they composed literature that was intended to be understood as fiction? Then John, Peter, and Mark jumped on board and wrote other fictional accounts that fit nicely with the stories already generated?

    This would be an absolutely amazing piece of fiction – probably the best piece of fiction the world has ever known! Moreover, they accomplished something incredible: They, together, convinced hundreds of people (who were contemporaries of the eyewitnesses) that they were telling the truth! For what purpose? They were all martyred in the end! Moreover, they come away looking rather bad – if it were intentional fabrication, I think they could have done a better job making themselves look good. (Peter denies Christ, the disciples don’t understand and don’t believe, one of Jesus’s disciples turns him in for some cash, he calls himself strange names like “Son of Man” that aren’t used by the early church, the lowest people of society (women) find the empty tomb, and it goes on and on.) This doesn’t have the “feel” of a made-up account.

  56. Tumeyn,

    That God’s spirit indwells every believer and works in and through their lives.

    That’s quite selective of you to not recognize all the works of non-believers, unless you just wish to make a useless blanket statement that credits your deity for their works as well.

    It’s ironic that you wish to credit Christianity for halting slavery when it was at the very root of the cause.

    Again, the physical manifestation of your god was apparently a one-time shot. People have to accept it or suffer a horrible fate for eternity. It doesn’t sound very logical to me.

    No offense, but it still appears you have a very touchy-feely emotional view of things.

  57. Calling it historical fiction doesn’t mean it’s all fiction. Parts of it can be entirely true. When I say fiction I do mean intentional fabrication.
    I believe it was written and compiled in the same spirit as Aesop, as a book of lessons. In that regard no particular part is obliged to be 100% factual, that would miss the spirit of serving as a reference for “good behaviour”. For a book to work well, it has to be colourful and adequately illustrate the points it’s trying to make.

  58. Z, again, you have very valid concerns. Here’s my brief answer to your concerns, as I see things:
    1) You write: “That’s quite selective of you to not recognize all the works of non-believers, unless you just wish to make a useless blanket statement that credits your deity for their works as well.” I was answering your question about how God works in history. I see him working greatly through Christians – but certainly not exclusively. There are quite a few Old Testament examples of “righteous gentiles” that had amazing things to contribute to God’s plans for the Jewish people.
    2) You write: “It’s ironic that you wish to credit Christianity for halting slavery when it was at the very root of the cause.” That’s absolutely false. Slavery has been known since the beginning of written history. The Jewish people were enslaved by Egyptians ~1500 years before Christ.
    3) You write “Again, the physical manifestation of your god was apparently a one-time shot.” Yes, that’s the teaching of the Bible. There is one God, and his “physical manifestation” is the person of Jesus. No one else.
    4) You write ” People have to accept it or suffer a horrible fate for eternity. It doesn’t sound very logical to me.” Not every Christian (including me) thinks that it is quite this simple. I think a convincing argument can be made from the New Testament that perhaps Christ’s salvation can be applied in some unexpected contexts, including those that don’t necessarily believe in him as the NT describes. But that’s another debate, one that has gone on within the church since at least ~200 AD.
    5) You write “No offense, but it still appears you have a very touchy-feely emotional view of things.” Yes. My faith is not a cold, hard, logical thing – just like my relationship with my wife and my friends is not based on cold, hard, logic. Logic and reason are certainly PART of faith, but they are not the whole-thing.

  59. Pink writes: “When I say fiction I do mean intentional fabrication…I believe it was written and compiled in the same spirit as Aesop, as a book of lessons. In that regard no particular part is obliged to be 100% factual,”

    Well, I can see how this would be a convenient way to explain the facts – but it just doesn’t seem to fit the manuscripts. No one (to my knowledge) ever believed that Aesop’s fables were historical, right? Yet, every piece of evidence suggests that early Christians all believed the NT writings were historical. Therefore, the authors (Paul, Mark, Peter, John, Matthew) were pulling off an intentional hoax. This would go against the very character of the Jesus that they were writing about. (In other words, they were lying and falsifying records in order to teach the value of honesty and integrity!)

    Why would they be motivated to do such a thing? After all, the person they were following (Jesus) had just died a rather gruesome death. Could they really have gotten so many followers so quickly? Could they really have kept this massive conspiracy quiet as one-by-one they were tortured and and killed?

    It’s a nice theory, but I think you’ll have to work the details out before it is really viable.

  60. Tumeyn,
    Christianity, for most of its history, embraced slavery. It also embraced abortion. It was used to justify many, many horrors. It would be disingenuous and dishonest to divorce the real history of the Christians from Christianity itself.

    • Pink claims the early church supported abortion. I can’t find that (maybe I don’t know where to look), but I do have to defend against this slander.

      Early church leaders on abortion:
      And when we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very foetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it . . .

      You shall love your neighbor more than your own life. You shall not slay a child by abortion. You shall not kill that which has already been generated. (Epistle of Barnabas 19.5; second century)

      Do not murder a child by abortion or kill a new-born infant. (The Didache 2.2; second century catechism for young Christian converts)

      It does not matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to the birth. In both instances, the destruction is murder. (Tertullian, Apology, 9.4; second century)

      Those who give abortifacients for the destruction of a child conceived in the womb are murderers themselves, along with those receiving the poisons. (Basil the Great, Canons, 188.2; fourth century)

      Jerome called abortion “the murder of an unborn child” (Letter to Eustochium, 22.13; fourth century).

      Augustine used the same phrase, warning against the terrible crime of “the murder of an unborn child” (On Marriage, 1.17.15; fourth century).

      The early church fathers Origen, Cyprian and Chrysostom likewise condemned abortion as the killing of a child.

      Oh, and humans being a distinct species means just that – a distinct species. Not animal, mineral or vegetable – but human. So simple a first-grader could understand it.

      • LOL, you didn’t know that? You don’t know where to look? Oh, and you don’t even know the work of ST. Augustine in depth and you’re trying to pass yourself off as some great Christian mind?

        Saint Augustine proposed the concept of the “delayed soul” in which a male fetus became a “baby” at 40 days, female babies only received their souls at 90 days.Before babies had “souls” abortion was acceptable, although not encouraged. Saint Geronimus took a similar position, he believed abortions were acceptable until the fetus retained a human appearance (3 to 4 months). In the 12th century the church officially adopted the terms of fetus-animatus and fetus- inanimatus to more clearly explain those concepts. The acceptability of abortions did however change under Pope Sixtus Vth, who banned the procedure under penalty of death. His successor Gregory dropped the ban and went back to the 116 day (4 month) rule. That lasted until 1869 when the Church decided to eliminate nuance altogether, permanently removing animatus and inanimatus from Church doctrine.

        That’s could history, 1st grader. What you do is throw around fallacies, speculation and irrationalities.
        As for species a variation of biological classification in taxonomic rank. Humans are a species of ANIMAL.

        • It’s difficult to totally ignore the foolishness of Pink. Firstly, Augustine was one of the main reasons for Roman Catholicism being as corrupt as it became. He had lots of bad ideas. My point is that to say Christians as a whole supported abortion is a lie. Even today there are Christians living with cognitive dissonance as they support abortion.

          As noted previously, the fact that modern science (so-called) places humans as animals does not therefore make it a fact. After all, science (so-called) promotes the lie of evolution. Humans are a distinct creation and not created as part of the animal realm. Claiming otherwise by believing God does not exist, does not therefore alter the facts.

          • What? First you mention Augustine to support your point, then when you don’t like what he says you discount him?
            What’s clear Glenn, is what religion is to you. It’s a scorecard that you can vainly use to attack other people and feel better about yourself. Unlike Tumeyn for example who’s interested in the actual history.
            You pick and choose at random (ignoring everything else) so you can justify your particular ideology and by doing so you ignore the facts and the real history.
            You’re not a person of faith because to you religion is simply a weapon you can use to attack other people and that’s why you only focus on things that can support your belligerent and destructive interpretation of it.

            • The use of Augustine by me was to show what Christians believed about abortion. In this he was orthodox. That doesn’t mean everything he taught was orthodox, nor was I citing him for that purpose. CONTEXT. Real history is what I study and believe. I don’t pretend what I don’t like is myth, as do you and your ilk.

              What is hilarious is that you would pretend to know one’s motives and thoughts. That just proves you to be a total fool.

              I do not use religion to attack anyone. Nowhere in any of my comments to you see me using religion to attack anyone. I’d say you are not only a fool, but also one who bears false witness.

              I’m truly finished with this discussion. It is a fruitless waste of time since you are not about to change your views and will most likely reject God until you meet him at the judgment seat.

              • You cited Augustine as an authority ans as soon as what he said didn’t fit what YOU think you dismissed his authority.
                That’s dishonest.
                I can see your motives in action. Your total disregard for real fact or history. In all your comments you include only half-truths, half the facts so you can continue pushing your own vision.
                You feign moral superiority to feel better about yourself because you’ve obviously not achieve it through other means. A happy satisfied person doesn’t need to spend their lives pointing fingers at the “sins” of others. You do it to make yourself feel above them, although you are not.

  61. Tumeny,
    Just because people believed something was true doesn’t mean it was actually true. Then, people believed the earth was flat and the sun orbited an immobile earth. We were so ignorant people commonly died of diseases we now treat with a small does of penicillin.
    It’s absurd to presume we were wrong and ignorant in so much, but the bible is an exception. We know it’s not an exception and has what is either fiction or grave mistakes.

  62. Tumeyn,

    You appear to be making my point when you say “I think a convincing argument…”

    Why is there an argument at all? Why is there so much controversy even among believers? I know you would probably blame man for screwing up the message, but at what point could you place any responsibility on the omnipotent creator you believe made all this stuff happen in the first place? Did he not see any of this coming?

    It’s like I’ve said before… your deity seems to get all of the credit and none of the blame.

    And in the end, you’ll stand by the claim it’s the relationship with you he desires, for some reason.

    Ok, then, please try to explain to me why your god has any need, desire or purpose to have a relationship with you.

  63. “Just because people believed something was true doesn’t mean it was actually true. Then, people believed the earth was flat and the sun orbited an immobile earth.”

    Of course I agree with you. Except that we’re talking about people’s beliefs about historical events – not beliefs about science. You keep trying to move the conversation to places where the church has obviously made errors in the past (slavery, the shape of earth) and somehow equate that with mistaken believes about whether Peter really thought the Jesus came back to life again. This was not a “mistaken belief”. Either it happened, or it was a deliberate lie.

  64. Glenn,
    You’re repeating the reductionist fallacy and no matter how many times you repeat it, it won’t make it true.
    Sexual relations are certainly not “just for procreation”- you said yourself. They’re used to achieve sexual pleasure. It would be like seeing you can’t eat anything delicious, only food that’s healthy because you should only eat for nourishment.
    I suggest you look up red herring, because you don’t seem to understand the difference between a red herring and an analogy.
    I don’t what pamphlets you’re getting your history from but to claim the Catholic Church is a 4th century “creation” is laughable and fantastically ignorant. I’ve cited actual evidence, which you seem incapable of doing (ever).
    I’m guessing you’re teenager, so don’t worry… you still have time to educate yourself.

  65. Tumeyn,
    Yes, I agree, either it happened or it was a deliberate lie. I’m (for the most part) with Carrier on this issue:

  66. Glennlogic 1: Humans are distinct species and not animals.
    A distinct species of what? A distinct species of vegetable? mineral? Or animal?
    Glennlogic 2: A part of the body can only be used for a single (evolutionary) purpose.
    I’ve answered that in detail and have shown how we ascribe different functions to various body parts- we do that because we have the capacity of reasoning. I’ve even seen people painting with their feet and mouths. How dare they “misuse” what their body parts are intended for from an evolutionary perspective!!!!
    And finally stop calling things Biology 101, when what you’re citing isn’t biology or science at all, it’s Christianity 101- nothing at all to do with medicine or science. “God says” isn’t a scientific statement.

  67. I have to skip a lot I’d like to read, but time is limited for me.

    Pink continues to confuse purpose of design with intention. The hand can be formed into a fist in order to punch the crap out of an attacker. The nails on the fingers can be used to scratch the eyes out of an attacker. These are still within the realm of the designed purpose of the hand. The functionality of the hand is applied to a variety of uses that are accomplished due to the hand being designed as it is.

    The various uses of the sexual organs described by you, procreation, elimination of waste, etc. are all designed purposes of those organs.

    Of course I’m speaking of the sexual act itself and the purpose of that act. The designed purpose is procreation. It is not for pleasure or unification as Glenn suggests, but that the pleasure derived and the unification that results is all for the purpose of procreation.

    We have decided to use this act for our own pleasure and gratification. We tell ourselves that it is an act of love, when it is really only an act of lust. As an act of love, it is the cheapest one at hand and requires very little of an individual. Hopefully, the real acts of love between two people are those not of a sexual nature. Or, that the two are faithful to each other is the real act of love, not putting out.

    And again, to say that you force yourself to have sex when you are not in the mood for the satisfaction of your more eager partner is a weak argument against the fact of selfishness of sex. But it supports my argument that as regards acts of love, sex is not among them. Your sacrifice of engaging when not in the mood is a greater act of love than the sex itself. You are forcing yourself to enable your partner’s selfishness. How sweet. Thanks for helping me make my case.

    Gotta go.

  68. Marshal,
    Unification is a religious concept, not a biological one. Stop mixing science with religion. Purpose of design would be evolutionary purpose, i.e. the development of the big toe which allows for balance in walking. “Intention” is not a biological concept, it’s a religious one- and you’re giving your particular religion’s version. But all that is, is one more religion’s perspective- which is nothing to do with science. By attempting to drag science into religion, people end up making a philosophical argument weaker rather than stronger.
    If you tell me you believe in absolute monogamy or sex only for reproductive purposes and defend that with your religious philosophical perspective, then you have a clean argument. You believe because your faith tells you that’s the best route. That’s fine. Other people can agree or disagree. But when people mix their beliefs with bad science, that diminishes the validity of the belief because bad science can be dis-proven.
    The same is true of bad logic. If you say you believe homosexuality is bad because of your faith, that’s fine, but mangling science and picking and choosing at random to support the argument is silly.
    You end up like Glenn or Kunoichi, making grave mistakes of fact.

  69. Marshal,
    I was wondering if you could expand on your “selfish” concept. Is sex the only human activity you classify as ultimately selfish? Is it selfish because it gives pleasure? Or is it selfish because another person participates to give you pleasure?
    Would paying to get a massage be equally selfish?
    If your wife cooks everyday for two and you’re always eating but never cooking does that make your act of eating a selfish one?
    I don’t have any problem at all with my partner having a “selfish” pleasure. I like it that he enjoys his kindle, food, sex and life in general. Anything I can do to make his life better, I will do.
    Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is demanding that others live as one wishes to live. Which is what’s behind this whole debate. Christians are free to be Christians, to get married in the church, to follow every single tenet of the religion- but that doesn’t seem to be enough. Many also want everybody else to follow the tenets of the religion as well. That’s where the whole finger-pointing “sinner” thing comes in along with a very strange way of gunning for the alleged sinners.
    Gluttony is a “capital sin”, yet I’ve never seen Christians protesting the sinners, calling them names or standing with signs outside McDonalds. Have you? Overweight people are even recurrent sinners who obviously don’t repent or recognize the error of their ways… No blogs and websites damning them to hell, though.

  70. Wow, Pink, you appear to have gotten your feathers ruffled a bit.

    Since education seems to matter to you, I’ll let you know that I have a PhD in chemistry. I’m fairly familiar with trying to make logical arguments for particular hypotheses.

    Thanks for pointing out Richard Carrier. I haven’t had a chance yet to watch that video, but after researching him a bit online, I find him quite fascinating. He appears to believe that the majority of non-Christian texts that discuss Christ and Christianity are forgeries. Everything is a big conspiracy theory, it seems. I’ll research his views a little more – but asking me to trust his views is about the same as me asking you to trust the views of William Lane Craig. Carrier is atheistic apologist just as much as Craig is a Christian apologist. It’s interesting to me that someone I generally can’t stand (Bart Ehrman) roundly criticizes Carrier’s views.

    Anyway, I’m happy to bring my conversation with you to a close on some agreement that we came to: Either the New Testament (particularly the deity and resurrection of Jesus) is a boldface, calculated lie – or it is true. You and Carrier seem to believe it was a lie, a conspiracy. I do not. I’ll leave it there and perhaps we can continue this debate another day if John ever posts something about early Christianity.

    One thing seems clear to me: There was *something* huge that happened around 30-35AD that resulted in the birth of Christianity. Nothing about the documents we see and the startling changed lives of the apostles makes sense otherwise. I believe that this “something huge” was the resurrection of Jesus.

  71. Tumeyn,
    Don’t worry, he certainly doesn’t believe everything is a forgery!!! If you read his actual work you’ll see he’s a genius of methodology, and better than Ehrman from a logical perspective. He is an atheist, though. He answers all questions on his blog very thoroughly even if sometimes a bit impatiently. He disagrees with my views on the theory of negative evidence.
    I had already noticed you had a more academic interest in these matters… no need for credentials, they were self-evident :)
    I agree that something huge happened around 30/35 AD, but I don’t think we can say beyond a reasonable doubt what it was, or separate fact from fiction to a degree of reasonable certainty. When that happens I prefer to err on the side of onus probandi in the sense that whomever makes the accusation (or in this case statement) must prove it categorically. That’s where I (and others) find Ehrman’s work questionable. Many times he starts with and If and somehow ends with a conclusion that he proposes as fact. The problem being that if there was an “if”, that means any conclusion derived from it is merely hypothetical. Carrier rarely, if ever, makes methodological mistakes.

    Hopefully John will post on the early church soon because it’s a fascinating part of history and politically amazing- and we can continue from there. A discussion of the historical perspective, competing factions and Orthdox vs. Rome vs. Gnostics vs. Jews could be fascinating

  72. Hi again Tumeyn,
    If you don’t like Ehrman… have a look at this: http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/1794/
    Carrier takes apart his last publication piece by piece.
    You were right, I did get annoyed earlier- and I apologize to the forum in its entirety for my entirely unnecessary asperity. There’s a huge difficulty in debating when some people participating in debate don’t recognize why the use of a fallacy doesn’t fulfil the requirements of valid argumentation. Progress is impossible. Unfortunately it’s all too common. If you scroll up you can see a profusion of non-sequiturs and some unusual attempts at transforming religious concepts into scientific ones. You’ll also see a theory of “monogamous sexual addiction” that defies all known science and also attempts to transform a religious concept into a scientific one.

  73. Z, you write: “Why is there an argument at all? Why is there so much controversy even among believers? I know you would probably blame man for screwing up the message, but at what point could you place any responsibility on the omnipotent creator…”

    As I’ve mentioned previously, I view Christianity as a relationship – not a series of theological “check boxes” that must be met. God doesn’t “spell out” much of anything for us. He wants those that earnestly seek him. So, does he deserve some “blame” when his people have screwed some things up? The book of Job and Ecclesiastes ask this exact question. You are asking a question that believers have asked themselves for thousands of years. It’s a great question without a great answer.

    “Ok, then, please try to explain to me why your god has any need, desire or purpose to have a relationship with you.”

    I’ve been thinking about this question all afternoon. It’s a great question. I don’t have an answer. But I do have a related question: Why do we have children? What need, desire, or purpose do adults have for children? Certainly you can make a utilitarian argument (take care of you when you are old, tend to the crops, etc). But, I don’t think that is really the answer. The answer, as I see it, is: Because it is in our character to do so. Likewise, I suspect that it was in God’s character to have “offspring”. Over and over again, the Bible describes us as God’s children. Many people think this is figurative language. I don’t think so. I think it is quite literal. The Christian believe is that people are spiritual beings AND physical beings. In a spiritual sense, we are the offspring of the creator of the universe. He doesn’t “need” us. But he certainly does desire and love us, just as a parent desires and loves their children.

  74. Tumeyn,

    I appreciate your honesty and the time you put into your answer – I really do.

    It’s a lot more refreshing than the combative nature of most discussion on this blog. The questions I ask are also open to be answered by anyone else out there too, by the way.

    In nature, basically all life procreates, be it plants, animals or microscopic organisms. To think that humans possess a special characteristic that needs or desires offspring is misguided. To further assign this characteristic to an all perfect deity is even more misguided. The question down this path still remains – why would an all perfect god have any desire for anything? (By definition, wouldn’t perfection require nothing more?)

    Also, if we are to entertain this parent/child relationship with god, I find it rather bizarre that a perfect entity can produce such imperfect offspring destined for an eternity of abandonment in hell if the conditions of acceptance are not met. That’s quite a parent you’ve got there.

    Does that really make sense to you?

  75. Z writes “In nature, basically all life procreates…”
    Yes, of course. But the Christian view of life is that it is a reflection of the character of God. Life begets life. “Non-life” does not beget life. In a spiritual sense, it’s the same way. You correctly observe that our “God” seems to uncannily resemble human beings. You think that this proves that people invent “god”. We believe exactly the opposite: That God “invented” us – and *that* is why we bear an uncanny resemblance to God.

    ” I find it rather bizarre that a perfect entity can produce such imperfect offspring …Does that really make sense to you?”
    Well, to some degree, yes it does. Free choice is absolutely essential to any sort of relationship. We can choose to accept or reject God. That choice, by necessity, means we can choose things that go against his character. But I do take your point. It is a mystery.

    I’ve always enjoyed the story described in John 6:60-68. Jesus had just finished telling his disciples that to follow him, them must “eat my body and drink my blood”. This, of course, referred to the sacraments and were a reference to his upcoming death. But, at the time, his disciples had no clue what he was talking about. John says that many of his disciples deserted him because they couldn’t understand this teaching. Then Jesus looks at Peter and asks “Do you want to leave me too?” Peter responds, “To whom else shall we go?”

    I’ve come back to that verse again and again over the years of my Christian walk. I know there is much about Christianity that doesn’t make sense. But the alternative (atheism/agnosticism) makes even less sense to me. To whom else shall I go? I don’t have good answers to some of the questions you pose – but the answers that my faith DOES provide more than compensate for the aspects of it that don’t make sense.

    You know, there is almost nothing in this life that we understand perfectly. Why should we expect to understand our faith perfectly? We don’t fully understand how gravity works, what the atom is composed of, why life works the way it does, and on and on and on. Life and the physical universe is incredibly complicated and impossible to understand fully. Why do you demand that we should understand our faith fully?

  76. My apologies if it comes across that I’m demanding – I’m merely asking you to explain why you believe what you believe. I’m trying to really get to the heart of the matter and show that flawed reasoning is often at the foundation of one’s beliefs.

    You are correct in saying that there is much in Christianity that doesn’t make sense, and you realize that you stand in the minority when it comes to admitting that as a Christian, don’t you?

    It seems as though your conclusions are based on what you want the outcome to be, not based on what the evidence actually shows. The answers you find in your faith provide you comfort in a world that doesn’t supply that comfort.

    Take, for example, the fires out west. There’s a home that was spared because of its metal roof, limited vegetation surrounding the house and location on the mountainside in relation to the wind direction. The owners were understandably emotional and quick to credit god. By contrast, others who lost everything in nearby neighborhoods were still inclined to say it was all part of god’s plan. I guess people need to say that to give themselves comfort even though they really have no evidence to support it.

  77. Pink,

    I’ve got a few moments here, so I can respond to a few points and finish up later if necessary.

    First, as it was sandwiched between two of your comments addressed to me, I’ll assume your request for educational level was as well. Here’s my answer: it doesn’t matter. I say this for two reasons. First, because it doesn’t matter. Whether I never went to school at all, or am still going beyond having achieved a doctorate, one’s desire to educate one’s self isn’t limited to formal education. Nor does it indicate true wisdom.

    Secondly, it is too easy to dismiss the arguments of one who has not reached whatever level of education you deem sufficiently impressive rather than to address the opinion or objection submitted.

    “Unification is a religious concept, not a biological one. Stop mixing science with religion.”

    Unification is a matter of biological fact. Look up the hormone “oxytocin” and its effects on relationships.

    ” “Intention” is not a biological concept, it’s a religious one- and you’re giving your particular religion’s version.”

    I never said intention was a biological concept, but it is not a religious one either. By intention I was referring to the willful attempt to project onto the activity of sex a purpose not of its design. That is to say, sex for reasons of personal pleasure is an intention of the participants, but not a designed purpose of the activity. Still further, pleasure is not the purpose of sex, but a factor that ensures the purpose of sex is fulfilled.

    I also submit that science aligns with religion. No “dragging” of one to the other is required. Had the culture adhered to the tenets of the Judeo-Christian tradition, there would be far less sex-related troubles plaguing our nation. There has simply been a host of issues brought about due to pretending sex has no moral element to it. I’ll list a few again: millions of abortions, sexually transmitted diseases that are suffered by younger people, child mothers, suicides and other emotional breakdowns, abusive relationships, etc, etc, etc.

    It’s not a great stretch to see the truths of Judeo-Christian teachings regarding human sexuality. It is also not a great stretch to understand the plain truth of the reality of the biological purpose of two genders, which makes plain the fact that same-sex attraction is abnormal or disordered. The compatible and complimentary design of each gender for the other makes this quite plain. But my faith or your lack of it does not affect this truth whatsoever.

    But while my faith clearly teaches that the behavior is sinful and an abomination to God, logic and experience clearly shows why ignoring the teachings of Him is bad for us in the here and now. It’s true regardless of whether the issue is homo- or heterosexual behaviors. Logic also would dictate that treating the two as if there was no difference between them is a bad idea. Acting illogically rarely, if ever, benefits anyone, much less the culture at large.

  78. @ Pink,

    “Is sex the only human activity you classify as ultimately selfish? Is it selfish because it gives pleasure? Or is it selfish because another person participates to give you

    It is selfish because pleasing the self is the driving and primary purpose of engaging in it at all. (I’m speaking here of sex without the desire to procreate.) We like to say that we are sharing an experience with our lovers, but the pleasure of the partner is never really the driving and primary intention of engaging in sex. It makes us feel noble and generous to say such things, and it is really, really easy to say it. Not so easy to prove it. Indeed, to regard sex and morally benign, having no mandate from a Creator regarding its proper place in our lives, further cheapens the notion that one engages in sex for the benefit of the partner primarily, as if any sacrifice is being made in any way.

    As such, referring to sexual activity as acts of love is just lip service and window dressing. The reality is that sex is an act of lust and self-gratification. Even with two consenting adults, male and female, within the context of a legitimate marriage, this is still true. The difference is that it is morally permissible within that context.

    But you would bring up other non-sexual acts for comparison. Taking a nice walk alone after dinner is a selfish act. But by itself, it carries no moral connotations whatsoever. The problem with this truth, and it is one that gives pause to conservative Christians, is the term “selfish”. Selfishness is a word with which no one wants to be associated. But as you might suggest, there are many actions and behaviors that are selfish, or self-centered, but are not referred to in conjunction with that term. Eating and sleeping are two examples. Exercise is another. That walk after dinner to which I referred earlier. To speak of sex as a selfish act troubles everyone who considers it, but it is the case nonetheless. I, too, have no problem with my wife indulging in her own particular selfish pleasures; things she does just for herself and might prefer doing all by herself. Everyone likes their “me time”. There is much we do that we do for what it does for ourselves primarily.

    “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is demanding that others live as one wishes to live.”

    That above quote, and what follows it, is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Christians, generally speaking, do not demand that others live their way. This is simply what the activist propaganda says is at the heart of the issue. Christians only hold to the facts of nature and the truth of Scripture and encourage others to accept Christ and His teachings as well. But, as the activists demand that the rest of the world accept something that contradicts reality as truth, the Christian and conservatives who agree with them only choose to stand against this contradiction in favor of actual reality, common sense, and traditional values and definitions. THAT’S the difference: Christians want or desire that everyone come to know Christ on His terms, while the activist demands that the rest of society accept without question THEIR terms for what constitutes truth, reality and definitions. There’s no “gunning” for sinners or finger-pointing except to point to all of mankind as fallen, sinful creatures, which is the case.

    But unlike gluttons, adulterers, thieves and a host of other types of sinners, the homosexual activist seeks to alter law, traditional understandings of marriage and family, diminish the difference between male and female as unimportant and even to alter the Will of God. Because of sex. Yet sex has no moral connotation.

    • Also, Marshal,
      The links I included and my suggestion for people to study the mathematical models for logic was e benign as it helps avoid the repetition of claims that are demonstrable false- as was the Kunoichi’s “theory” of natural monogamy.
      1. When Christians say things like “nature wants”, they don’t mean nature. Nature is ” phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals etc…” it doesn’t have human desires. Nature wants nothing. When statements like that are made people are using the word nature and then ascribing to it religious ideology. So the intellectually honest sentence would be “I believe my god wants”- not Nature want.
      2. When someone proposes a theory like the monogamy theory, they have to test it. So if the hypothesis is: Humans are naturally monogamous. We have to check if that’s true. Is it?
      Evidence shows historically humans were not monogamous, so do divorce rates. There are an infinity of examples that demonstrate without question that human beings, particularly men, but also women, do not have an inclination to monogamy. So to say “nature wants us to be monogamous and we’re designed that way” doesn’t hold up to scrutiny because if we were “designed that way” then we would not have such a huge amount of evidence pointing to traditions and occurrences of non-monogamous relationships. In that example Kunoichi not only substituted the word god for nature, but her/his evidence didn’t support the statement.
      You do the same thing when you say: “Had the culture adhered to the tenets of the Judeo-Christian tradition, there would be far less sex-related troubles plaguing our nation.” In that you make a false presumption that judeo-christian values are more “moral” than other ideologies. I can point to a number of countries that have many atheists and yet have lower levels of crime, prostitution, drug use and murder than the USA. The problem with your assertion is the false premise that judeo-christianity ensures morality when in fact it’s interpretational and therefore not an absolute. Each Christian sector has their own vision of what is “the true word of god”, for that reason alone we know there are serious issues with calling any of it “truth”. You can’t all be right. If your proposition is (as is the case for many groups) that if people don’t follow your exact version of christianity then they’re going to hell- a whole lot of your fellow christians are going to hell because they’re either not Catholic or not Protestant or not from the Westboro Baptist Church.
      So by using terminology like “god’s truth”, all you’re really doing is giving one group’s opinion of what that may be and that has changed dramatically as mankind has evolved. The bible can and has been used to justify all sorts of things and contradictory things. It’s used to justify being pro-life with the ten commandments but then to justify the death penalty with the old testament.
      Even a religious person must agree that those positions are in intellectual opposition. If that happens then you don’t really have “truths”, you have human beings making decisions based on their personal bias and interpretation.

  79. Marshal,
    My allusion to education levels was because of the basic mix-ups some of you are making.
    Science (and medicine) are about observation, experimentation, testing hypothesis and then coming to a conclusion based on that. Then re-testing, done by other people and examining methodology so the conclusion can be confirmed or dismissed.
    Religion on the other hand is about tradition and doctrine. The religious person doesn’t require observation and testing, they simply require what they believe is the word of god. Also known as “faith”.
    What you’re using to arrive at your conclusions isn’t science. The scientific and anthropological view of sex is that it serves more than one purpose. That’s not an opinion, that’s a scientific fact.
    Scientific observation demonstrates sex has multiple purposes, which includes but is not limited to reproduction. It’s also about, actually more commonly about social interaction and achieving physical pleasure. You’re trying to mix that with philosophy, your personal religious philosophy, and that’s how you arrive at this reductionist idea that it is “only for one purpose”.
    When you mention something like oxytocin you show precisely how you’re mind is operating in a non-scientific way. First you have conclusions:
    Sex is just for reproduction”-“Sex is about unification”- and you justify that with random scientific facts like the release of oxytocin that occurs during sex. Except oxytocin is also released during hugging and same-sex sexual activity. So that doesn’t support an exclusionary theory. Scientific observation says all (orgasmic) sex releases oxytocin which supports the theory of sex being for social interaction rather than it being just for reproduction.
    “Christians only hold to the facts of nature and the truth of Scripture and encourage others to accept Christ and His teachings as well.”
    That’s blatantly false, and can be seen by the comments above. When atheists and the scientifically inclined talk about nature, Christians say things like “oh yes, homosexuality may be documented in 1500 species, but we’re not animals.”- Someone made a particular point above of insisting that what happens in nature isn’t relevant to people because they believe we’re not animals. What you call “nature” isn’t nature at all, it’s your Christian philosophy- and as for forcing other people to behave the way you do, that’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.
    Legalizations don’t force anyone to behave any particular way, they let each person choose for themselves. Christians not only support, but push for outright bans and illegalizations that would force all of society to live according to Christian ideology. If for example trans-fats are legal, nobody is forced to eat them. The same is true of gay-marriage. What Christians propose is to make their (your) religion the law of the land.
    Here’s a very good video that explains the difference between the non-religious (scientific/logical) thought process, and the one you’re using which is founded in philosophy.

  80. John, you should consider renaming your blog to “The Art of Trolling”. Well done. Of the posts I have read so far, you have illicited heated arguments rather than reasonable discussion. You articulate yourself very well, giving the illusion that you understand what you are talking about, but all you are doing is reiterating biggoted rhetoric.

    I hope that if you have children, they can overcome your rhetoric and learn to think as adults some day. I will be unsubscribing now, since it is clear in the several months I’ve followed, you have absolutely nothing to say. Good luck to you.

    p.s. If you take leviticus seriously, you understand that you are going to hell if you’ve eaten pork or a had hair cut or a beard trim.

    • it’s a shame that you consider beliefs different from your own to be some kind of negative rhetoric. I can’t very well help how people respond to my posts. Heated discussions only go to show I write in a manner which creates passion in people. Just because we don’t share the same views doesn’t mean I have nothing to say.

      judging by your response to my question for Atheists, it is more likely that you don’t understand my posts rather than I have nothing to say, since you didn’t seem to grasp what was being asked.

  81. Pink,

    You are more guilty of making assumptions here than I am. For example, your understanding of the religious person’s position is not based on fact, but on a non-believer’s projection. The Christian faith (the only one on which I care to speak) teaches to use reason. The Christian of today might be a product of his upbringing, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t investigated his faith in order that he might find proofs or evidence to support his faith. The question is whether or not those proofs are sufficient for the atheist, and as we’ve seen, the atheist looks to dictate what constitutes legitimate evidence. This is problematic since the nature of religion, the supernatural and God is such that it is easy to dismiss the type of evidence with which we have to work as being less than acceptable. From there, you move to your own opinion…

    “The scientific and anthropological view of sex is that it serves more than one purpose. That’s not an opinion, that’s a scientific fact.”

    You state an opinion and then state that it is NOT opinion. “The scientific view” of anything is indeed an opinion based on what conclusions they care to draw from gathered data. However, while you wish to believe that the purposes of sex are many, I maintain that the only logical view can be that the designed purpose, which is all I’ve put forth, is procreation. By design, we can only deal with the parts being used for sex and the designed purpose. The penis if for inseminating a female (sexually speaking of course). This is its purpose. Though one might use it as a book mark, its purpose is procreation. That is a matter of its design, or what it was designed to do. It is here where you go wrong.

    I do not argue against the fact that we choose to use any tool or body part for whatever use we feel it can meet. This is not the same as the tool’s designed purpose or why it was created (be it created by nature, as in evolution, or by God). As suggested above, we might use a hammer as a paper weight, and it would serve well in that capacity. But it was designed to be used to drive nails or form metal or smash objects (depending on the particular hammer in hand). That the sexual act might be used merely for personal pleasure is not a matter of its designed purpose, but is a matter of an individual’s choosing to use it for such a purpose beyond its designed purpose. Thus, to say the purpose of sex is procreation is absolutely and scientifically accurate and precise. There’s no philosophy or religion that alters this fact one iota. It simply is the case. What you’re talking about is what people have decided to use sex for.

    And because it suits your argument, that sex has no moral component, you seek to diminish the importance of acknowledging the designed purpose of sex, diluting it with personal preference regarding how and when and with whom it is perpetrated so as to make it something it isn’t. This is not uncommon to even Christians, so I don’t say this as necessarily a unique fault of the atheist. It’s human nature to justify such behaviors.

    Next, you are confusing my position with those of other commentators. The purpose of sex is procreation. The release of the hormone oxytocin during sex compels the participants to cling to each other. (The level of hormones released are greater in women than men, possibly for the purpose of connecting the female of the species with the dominate male of the group for the purpose of having the strongest offspring) The amount of hormone released is related to the form and intensity of contact. But the fact that it occurs at all as it does during sex lends credence to the notion that it affects monogamy, even if it doesn’t insure it. I don’t think you’ve proven I fail to understand these points properly. But this statement…

    “Scientific observation says all (orgasmic) sex releases oxytocin which supports the theory of sex being for social interaction rather than it being just for reproduction.

    …suggests your understanding is less than accurate. This is an opinion, not a fact. It would be more logical to suggest that the release of oxytocin during sex ties the partners together. Having multiple partners, especially for women, distorts the affect of this hormone and can explain the divorce rate, depression and other negative consequences of doing things contrary to the designed purpose. This certainly indicates a moral component to sexual behavior.

    You said this…

    ““Christians only hold to the facts of nature and the truth of Scripture and encourage others to accept Christ and His teachings as well.”

    …was false, but only make a vague reference to previous statements. But the fact is that the teachings of Scripture regarding human sexuality align perfectly with the biological purpose of sex, as well as the purpose of having two genders. By engaging in sex without considering its purpose, the ills already listed are guaranteed. By engaging in sex according to the teachings of Scripture, they won’t occur. It is similar to the fact of abstinence. It works every time in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. To expect that sex for pleasure carries no moral connotations ignores the facts regarding the purpose of sex. It is selfishness.

    What happens in nature is NOT relevant to human socialization. We are NOT like the rest of the animal kingdom and even an atheist should recognize this singular scientific fact. To look to the animal kingdom in order to justify behaviors of humans is not logical, mature or scientific. Certainly, there are things we can learn that explain certain motivations and urges. But such understanding is not justification.

    “Christians not only support, but push for outright bans and illegalizations that would force all of society to live according to Christian ideology.”

    This is a deceitful representation of the Christian perspective. What we support is the traditional and actual definition of marriage. This support does not outlaw your choice of living as you do. At least not since Lawrence v Texas.

    But YOU would have us live according to YOUR religion, which states that abnormal sexual attractions are normal and must be regarded as such in all situations regardless of the facts. What you propose is to make YOUR religion, the religion of the self, the law of the land. YOUR religion contradicts science and logic.

  82. Cyndi,

    If you’ve EVER taken the Bible seriously, that is, seriously enough to know what it teaches, you’d understand how ridiculous, naive and silly your post script is.

  83. @ Pink again,

    I think it was Z who posted a similar video by the same goofy atheist who inserts all sorts of straw men into his psuedo-intellectual rant against believers. This vid is chock full of them:

    @ 3:24 he says in reference to God, “no being can be perfect if it needs worship”. I don’t know of anyone who teaches that God “needs” worship. I don’t recall any passage from Scripture that teaches this. A bit later, around 3:37, he refers to the Christian God as “self-refuting”. But at around 3:53, he gives some self-refuting description of atheism. He says, Atheism is a lack of belief, as in “I lack belief in gods”, but then says, “Gods don’t feature among the things I believe exist”. So there are things he believes exist but gods aren’t among them. Thus, he doesn’t believe in gods. Either one believes or one doesn’t. There is no in-between.

    Just a bit later he claims that the believers claim the atheist has faith that there are no gods and disputes this by saying that atheists don’t have any faith at all one way or the other, or words to that effect. But what we know is that the atheist does have faith and that faith is that there is a naturalistic explanation for everything. THAT is the atheist faith to which we refer.

    @ 4:40 he claims theistic claims are debunked, but dismissing claims is not the same as “debunked” which has never been accomplished by any atheist. Also, it is not proven that the pro-theistic arguments collapse under scrutiny. Again, dismissing arguments is not akin to proving them wrong. The speaker states his opinion as fact.

    The next two points are especially baffling. At around the 5 minute mark he makes this claim:

    “Some have said atheism can’t be a lack of belief in gods or we’d have to classify rocks and dogs as atheists.”

    Who has ever said this? I’ve NEVER heard this put forth and assuming it has been, it hardly ranks as a legitimate argument on which an atheist can thump his chest. However, it is particularly galling to work this angle considering how often atheists and homosexual activists look to the animal world to justify their positions.

    Then, @ 6:20

    “One cannot lack belief in gods because one needs to believe something about gods in order to reject them.”

    Really? Who says this? It seems this guy is willing to use the lamest possible arguments that few people would ever use to pretend the average believer is irrational. Then he dares talk about defective reasoning and definitions and lack of evidence. Where’s the evidence these last two arguments are oft used?

    He then goes on to accuse believers of “condemning, criticizing, dehumanizing and marginalizing” atheists. I see a lot more of that directed from atheists to believers in this country than the other way around. And as he is obviously British, there is quite a bit of that toward the church in England these days.

    I’ve got more, but I’ll leave it there for now.

  84. Marshal,
    The Christian faith doesn’t use any logic whatsoever.
    There is no scientific evidence to support a resurrection. There is no scientific evidence to support the existence of your god. It’s all ancient speculation that depends on the suspension of disbelief- hence the use of the word “faith”.
    As I’ve said before, you don’t even understand basic logical concepts. A “designed purpose” presumes intentionality. You are ascribing human feelings and human desires to natural occurrences. By doing so you’re making a presumption of the existence of a god as designer and that’s not scientific observation.
    You’re bastardizing scientific observation and inserting your god into the premise. That’s religion- not science.
    Every time you make an argument that pretends to be about biology you have to either insert (what you think is your god’s intention) at the beginning or justify it with some scriptural reference. That’s NOT science. Science only looks at what there is, not what you imagine there could be. What you do is speculation.
    When the video references “debunked”- he’s talking about mathematical logic. I don’t mean to be unkind, but you don’t get the basics of that, you demonstrate it when you say straw-men. You don’t seem to know what a straw-man argument is. The same way Glenn didn’t comprehend the difference between a direct and substantiated analogy and a red-herring fallacy.
    ” The amount of hormone released is related to the form and intensity of contact. But the fact that it occurs at all as it does during sex lends credence to the notion that it affects monogamy, even if it doesn’t insure it.”
    This is a perfect example of how you abuse knowledge and try to mould it to justify your ideology. If something may or may not be true then you cannot use it as evidence to support only the side of the argument that suits you.
    What the atheist video didn’t explain is that prove-able science is about mathematical equations. Not conjecture and speculation. On the monogamy issue we know only approximately 17.8% (100) of 563 societies sampled in Murdock’s Atlas of World Cultures have forms of exclusive monogamy. That means the vast majority of human societies 82.2% are non-monogamous. From that we can conclude beyond a reasonable doubt and mathematically that monogamy is not the status-quo in human beings. So your premise of oxytocin being “designed” for monogamy is factually incorrect.
    All Christian mathematical equations depend on you inserting an unproven variable, your “if”. If X equals Y then Z. That’s not science and it’s not logic. In science you first have to prove X before you can use it as evidence. You don’t do that and you are therefore in the business of speculation not evidence. So stop trying to use science or logic to support your arguments because it’s thoroughly dishonest.
    Finally: “What happens in nature is NOT relevant to human socialization. We are NOT like the rest of the animal kingdom and even an atheist should recognize this singular scientific fact. To look to the animal kingdom in order to justify behaviors of humans is not logical, mature or scientific. Certainly, there are things we can learn that explain certain motivations and urges. But such understanding is not justification.”

    It’s Christians who pervert the use of language in this case. Particularly with the use of the word “natural”. It’s done disingenuously and maliciously too. Because something is only found in a minority doesn’t mean it’s not natural. Christians are a world minority, only 33% of the world population. No one is born a Christian, it’s a learnt behaviour. Christianity requires the perversion of fact and suspension of rational though. So if there’s nothing that’s not natural in this discussion, it’s Christianity.

  85. “The Christian faith (the only one on which I care to speak) teaches to use reason… The question is whether or not those proofs are sufficient for the atheist, and as we’ve seen, the atheist looks to dictate what constitutes legitimate evidence. This is problematic since the nature of religion, the supernatural and God is such that it is easy to dismiss the type of evidence with which we have to work as being less than acceptable. From there, you move to your own opinion…”

    The atheist doesn’t define what constitutes legitimate evidence, the scientific method and logic do that. The same scientific method that cures diseases, builds bridges that don’t collapse, created the internet which you are using right now, and allowed us to know that the earth orbits the sun. That human beings don’t live many hundreds of years, that no one lived inside a whale. That the “multiplication of fish” is a magic trick and so is transforming water into wine. Those aren’t opinions. A bridge that doesn’t collapse is not an opinion, it’s a mathematical equation. Your god is an opinion and very badly formulated one at that.

  86. Too bad I have no time to dissect all the fallacies Pink puts forth as fact. The punchline is that he, and those he considers “scientific”, are putting their own spin on data to satisfy what is more appealing to them. I’ll explain this in detail later, time permitting.

  87. Marshal,
    It’s not the time you lack, it’s the capability to understand mathematics, logic and fallacies. I don’t “spin” any data. Majority means over 50%, that’s not an opinion. If your lack of education prevents you from understanding the difference between majority and minority or incidence and causality, blame your educational system or your parents, not me.

  88. Pink,

    The conclusions one draws from data is the definition of spin, although it can be legitimate spin. We can spin toward logic, reason and likelihood or toward our own preferences. For example, the idea of monogamy. You fail to take into account man’s ability to reason, as well as his penchant for acting unreasonably. Men are less inclined toward monogamy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t meant to be so. As we again look at all the ills resulting from a very unreasonable attitude toward sex, we can see that monogamy is a more reasonable notion. Resisting sexual temptation (a word from religion but not necessarily exclusive to it) leads to better results all around. We are given, either by God or nature, a brain that is capable of reason and reason demands better choices than what is often the case due to temptations. I am still short on time today, but I intend to address more fully both my position and your failure to accept certain realities that you mistakenly believe are to be dismissed by your “understanding” of mathematics, logic and fallacies.

  89. Marshal,
    There’s no spin at all in my argument regarding monogamy. If someone wants to say “monogamy” is the natural state of man then it has to meet one of two criteria (not even both)- either it’s the norm as in most people are monogamous, or that it’s the majority behaviour in nature.
    This is why language and argumentation is so important. If you tell me that monogamy is better because __________ & ____________&____________- then that’s great and the argument might be excellent. I myself can make an argument for monogamy based on the stability of the family unit, respect, the well being of the group rather than the individual etc.
    But if someone resorts to that weird mixology using a little bit of science (arbitrarily) to justify a philosophical position, then the argument falls flat.
    I’m prepared to listen and be convinced by good arguments, but I cannot be convinced with bad science which is used inconsistently.

  90. Pink,

    You don’t seem to follow the rules you state must be followed. You claim not to spin, but the fact is that you are not addressing the point raised in the manner you demand.

    Someone suggested monogamy is the natural state of man? Was that the correct re-statement of his premise? Assuming it was, the fact that so many, even a majority, do not behave in this manner does not contradict the premise if what was meant dealt with biological design. As there are hormonal reactions and responses to contact, which seem more obvious in but not exclusive to women, it can be honestly posited that there is some evidence to support the premise. There have also been studies of the health, longevity and emotional state of people in lasting marriages which also suggest monogamy has benefits to the individual, and thus suggests the premise is true.

    But you want to speak of the great numbers of cheaters, adulterers, philanderers, womanizers and nymphs to suggest the premise is false. All that really does is indicate something about the tendency of people to succumb to their base desires for self-gratification, which complicates the issue. People often act counter to their best interests and even against their true natures.

    In no particular order, I’d like to address other points you’ve tried to make, beginning with…

    “The atheist doesn’t define what constitutes legitimate evidence, the scientific method and logic do that. “

    Thanks for the info, but that was never suggested. What is suggested is that the atheist dismisses legitimate evidence as it suits him. You don’t know that Jonah didn’t spend three days inside an ocean creature. You can’t know it. You only presume that it could not have happened because it defies logic and the laws of nature and physics. You don’t know that Jesus didn’t multiply the loaves and fish to feed the masses OR change water into wine. You can’t know it. You only presume that it could not have happened because it defies logic and the laws of nature and
    physics. Like others who have taken this position, you demand what cannot be provided, and that is evidence that these or any other miracles have ever happened. You insist that since no evidence of a miracle is available, then that means no miracle has ever happened. But the definition of a miracle is basically that which happens in a manner that defies the laws of nature and physics. Without witnessing a miracle, or having been informed of a miracle having happened by someone who’s credibility is unimpeachable, there is no way to prove one happened. There would, by definition, be no trace, unless the miracle involved producing something that you knew never existed or removing something you knew did. For example, turning water into wine would be impossible to prove without having tasted the water, or having it tested to prove it was water, and then tasting the wine into which it was changed and/or having it tested again to show that it is now wine. But once it was changed, it would be easy enough for others to insist that it could never have been anything else.

    OK, I took longer than intended. More later if you respond to what I’ve said already.

  91. Marshal,
    There’s no spin in mathematics. There is however spin in using the word “natural” when someone means “moral” or “better” or “positive”.
    If a “majority, do not behave in this manner does not contradict the premise if what was meant dealt with biological design.”
    Yes, it totally contradicts the use of the word natural, and that’s why another word should be used. Firstly because “biological design” is speculation, in your case it’s speculation based on your religious perspective.
    My answer is the same to Muslims and Orthodox Jews who say it’s not “natural” for a woman to show her hair. They are misusing the word natural. They mean it’s not acceptable in their religions. All the arguments you use to defend monogamy go to a philosophical defence, not one of nature. You’re mixing categories. Monogamy is as natural as divorce, Hamlet, flying in an air-plane, signing contracts- meaning you’re making an invalid association between categories which is misleading.
    Whenever you’re making an argument, substitute words in a parallel manner and see how the mathematics of it look. If you substitute the words you can generally see if your equation holds true.
    If I say for example the a person’s “natural state” is the way they’re born and that alone, then I have to logically conclude that all learning experiences are unnatural. That’s why words like that shouldn’t be used in philosophical debates.

    “You don’t know that Jonah didn’t spend three days inside an ocean creature. You can’t know it. You only presume that it could not have happened because it defies logic and the laws of nature and physics. You don’t know that Jesus didn’t multiply the loaves and fish to feed the masses OR change water into wine. You can’t know it. You only presume that it could not have happened because it defies logic and the laws”

    That’s called “Argumentum ad ignorantiam”, an appeal to ignorance. Just because I cannot “know” that something didn’t happen doesn’t mean it did happen. On the contrary. When we don’t know something it’s highly irresponsible to presume it was true just because we can’t disprove it. I cannot prove Joe Crazy from Arkansas wasn’t abducted by aliens last night. I can’t prove Mormons don’t get their own planet after they die. I can’t prove Muslim terrorists don’t get 70 virgins when they blow themselves up. Should I believe any of those things? No. They defy what we have learned throughout our history, so do the things you referenced in the bible. You want to apply “special conditions” or give a special exemption to your religion’s theories whilst discounting out of hand the speculation in other religions- the fact being that all of you are just peddling speculation.

  92. “Firstly because “biological design” is speculation, in your case it’s speculation based on your religious perspective.”

    It is not speculation. It is biological fact. The eye has a purpose. It is to see. The teeth have a purpose, which is to chew or bite. The hand has a purpose which is to grasp. The penis has a purpose, which is to eliminate waste fluid and to impregnate. These are all obvious and based on what biology says about them.

    That human beings are monogamous is suggested by a variety of factors including the aforementioned hormonal releases, as well as the benefits so obvious in those who remain so and the negative consequences of those who refuse to be so. I do concede a bit of speculation, but it is not entirely a position based on speculation. It is confounded by other aspects of human nature, particularly the selfishness aspects. These two aspects are in conflict, but they both exist to one degree or another in each of us.

    “Just because I cannot “know” that something didn’t happen doesn’t mean it did happen.”

    Good thing I didn’t suggest that, then. By the same token, just because something can’t be proven doesn’t mean it isn’t a fact or didn’t happen. They didn’t find any WMD’s in Iraq, but that doesn’t prove Hussein didn’t have them or wasn’t trying to develop them. But by your own standards, just because you can’t prove something didn’t happen, or just because I can’t prove it did, it would be irresponsible to insist it didn’t or couldn’t have.

    “You want to apply “special conditions” or give a special exemption to your religion’s theories whilst discounting out of hand the speculation in other religions- the fact being
    that all of you are just peddling speculation.”

    This is the underlying bullshit of your position, and the position of the average atheist. You try to pretend that the claims of every religion are somehow all to be taken as either true or false, with no allowance that one can very much be true. I know of no other religion that makes truth claims that can be backed up as is the case of Christianity. There’s no comparison that brings any of them up to the same level of likelihood or possibility. But the atheist will make them all equal as if he actually has made a thorough comparison of the claims and how they are defended.

    You do this a lot, in fact. In your last you make this lame attempt in your “hair” example regarding what is natural. That is hardly on par with claims for natural sexual behavior or even monogamy. Apples and oranges, in fact.

    The more that can be supported or proven regarding anything in the records of any religion, the more one must concede as regards the possibility of it being true. The Christian faith has a wealth of such support, none of which requires or demands “special conditions” to claim validity over other faiths.

  93. LOL Marshal
    If your thing is religion, why don’t you just accept that and stop trying to bolster your arguments with what is in effect the bastardization of science. and logic.
    You outright lie and then try to support the lie with fake science:
    “That human beings are monogamous is suggested by a variety of factors including the aforementioned hormonal releases”
    Human beings ARE NOT primarily monogamous, so not only is your premise a fraud but your conclusion is an even bigger fraud because you start out with a lie.

    Your ability to process information is so deficient, you’re incapable of comprehending the most simple concepts. The reason is your religious magical thinking. It allows you to substitute facts for untruths just so you can keep your belief system intact.
    It’s inconvenient to your belief system that humans are not primarily monogamous, so you just ignore that FACT, make another one up and then go off on a ridiculous tangent pretending it supports your initial lie.

    Your assertion on “natural” sexual behaviour also begins with a lie because you start with the conclusion: “Sex is for reproduction” and then you rape science to support that conclusion. An honest person starts with the question: “What are the purposes of sex?”- then we look at the data and realize it serves various functions and reproduction is statistically and practically the smallest of them. Then you keep running in circles surreptitiously inserting your philosophy into the debate and pretending it’s science.

    The “truth” claims of Christianity cannot be backed up. They depend on the suspension of disbelief whether it’s resurrections or people living in whales. They depend on misleading premises like your monogamy lie. This position that the laws of science apply to everything “except” your religion is absurd, ridiculous and intellectually dishonest. They apply to treating cancer, they apply to building bridges, they got us on the surface of the moon and now on Mars- but you want a special exception granted to legends passed from one ignorant middle-easterner to the next in a time when we didn’t understand even basic science and people had half the life expectancy we do today because they were incredibly ignorant. Ignorant enough to think that doing a little dance or putting their hands together and praying or lighting a candle could convince a magical being in the sky to send them rain or cure their syphilis.

  94. First of all, it was not me who brought up the concept of monogamy being natural. My purpose was merely to counter your knee-jerk rejection of the reasons put forth to make the claim. Worse, you do not adhere to logic in arguing against it. There is a difference between how people act and how they were designed or what their purpose is. You prefer to believe that because people do not confine themselves to moral behavior that we then could not be designed for monogamy. While you think you’ve gotten points by pointing to how often people whore themselves, I look to studies that suggest the benefits of a monogamous lifestyle of two people of opposite gender committing to each other. I take into account the hormonal releases that tend to bind each to the other and say the position has merit. I look at all the problems that result from giving into the temptation to gratify one’s sexual desires and it further supports the concept that we are designed for monogamy. I think the position has more merit than yours, which is not based on logical thinking at all.

    You believe that you are answering the question “what are the purposes of sex?” when the question is wrong. It is not “what are the purposes?” but “what is the PURPOSE?” You pervert the question in order to arrive at answers that satisfy your desire to use sex for reasons outside its designed purpose. You demand that the pleasure derived from engaging in the act, which insures that it gets done so that the species survives, be separated so as to be a purpose in itself. Then, you pretend it is for social interaction or some such. In other words, you make purpose out of that which is not a purpose. The purpose of sexual intercourse is reproduction. That is it in total. That we, as self-serving beings, utilize it for personal pleasure alone does not justify the self-serving position that the pleasure is the purpose. Personal pleasure is a “by-product” of the act, but not the purpose. You don’t possess the intellectual honesty to admit this due to your obsession with your own preferred sexual desires. To admit the truth of the purpose of sex suggests your own selfishness as regards your sexual preferences. Boo-hoo. Heteros do it, too. They are also wrong. Sex is meant for reproduction. This is a fact and science supports it completely. There is no religion OR philosophy required to acknowledge this plain truth. Only honesty.

    More soon.

  95. more for Pink

    “Your ability to process information is so deficient, you’re incapable of comprehending the most simple concepts. The reason is your religious magical
    thinking. It allows you to substitute facts for untruths just so you can keep your belief system intact.”

    Once again, my faith aligns with truths supported by science. Those truths exist regardless of whether or not I, or anyone else, believes in the existence of God. Indeed, as explained in the comment above, quite the reverse is true, that it is you who substitutes facts, often creating them out of whole cloth, just so you can keep your belief system intact. This is proven by your presumption that sex has multiple purposes. This is only true by virtue of the fact that many want pleasure to be among them. But again, the science shows that the pleasure derived is a function of the act that insures that the act takes place at all. Remove the pleasure, and the act is far less likely to get done and the species will die out. Thus,

    It’s inconvenient to your belief system that the purpose of sexual intercourse is reproduction, so you just ignore that FACT, make another one up and then go off on a ridiculous tangent pretending it supports your initial lie. If the act was not for reproduction, then why would there be sperm present with every ejaculation? Is that just supposed to be a biological accident, or is the truth that so many ignore the truth in favor of gratifying their personal pleasure? The latter is the correct answer. Again, the science backs this up. If the act was used solely for reproduction, the numbers of pregnancies per act would rise, as we understand the best time in a woman’s cycle that pregnancy is likely. You speak almost as if you don’t know how babies are made. The “data” you look at does not take into account that so many do not hope for a pregnancy with every sexual encounter, but engage for pleasure only. Thus, the data would naturally show a lesser instance of pregnancies than if the act was solely used for its actual purpose. This is plainly dishonest.

    If you wish to argue that human beings are not suited toward restricting their behaviors according to purpose, I would not argue against you. Indeed, my faith clearly indicates man is too corrupt to act perfectly and thus, God has revealed which behaviors we desire are sinful. This is a reflection of the design of our biology and the results of ignoring that design and the purpose for it is clear in stats you ignore, those that include the numbers of abortions annually, the numbers of not only unwed mothers, but the younger ages of them, the numbers of not only new instances of STDs, but the younger ages of those who contract them, the numbers of suicides related to sexual issues, the numbers of abuse cases related to sexual issues, rapes and child molestation, and on and on. These, too, can all be regarded as “natural”. These, too, do not reflect the natural purpose of mankind and his biology.

    Finally, the truth claims of Christianity are indeed backed up. Confirmed, no. Supported in a variety of ways, absolutely. They do not depend on anything more than rational thought, objective observation and study and a mind open wider than the atheist is willing or capable of opening his. You cannot believe because of stories that include the miraculous. It doesn’t matter to you how many people have testified to the resurrection (over 500 by St Paul’s count). To you, they are all ignorant, as if the time of their existence precludes any ability to know with certainty what they are experiencing. How bloody arrogant! I’d wager you have done very little study of apologetics or evidences for the claims of Christianity, but dismiss what little you have seen as a result of what it means to your sexual motivations. It’s common amongst atheists, and more so amongst homosexual atheists.

  96. Marshal,
    Your still resorting to the same fraudulent approach as before. “There is a difference between how people act and how they were designed or what their purpose is.”

    That’s exactly what I meant in my previous comment. You’re extrapolating to justify your religious perspective. There is nothing to suggest we are “designed” for monogamy. Something can be beneficial without that meaning we were “designed” for it. Lots of things are good for human beings and other animals, that doesn’t mean we were “designed” to do them. Stop bringing up logical thinking because you don’t grasp even the basics of it. People who marry philosophy with science the way you do are simply rejecting logic and science. Whenever you start with a conclusion and try to justify it, that’s not science.

    Your comments, one by one demonstrate a fantastic lack of comprehension. There’s a particular statement that should get a prize for its absurdity:
    “This is proven by your presumption that sex has multiple purposes. This is only true by virtue of the fact that many want pleasure to be among them. But again, the science shows that the pleasure derived is a function of the act that insures that the act takes place at all. Remove the pleasure, and the act is far less likely to get done and the species will die out.”

    That’s so ridiculous, I can’t believe you were brave enough to type it. Humans have planned reproduction for a very long time. We know how it happens and what causes it to happen and we’ve designed whole complex systems to order reproduction. Catholics had fertility calenders, doctors studied birth control and came up with IVF. Humans don’t reproduce for sexual pleasure. Humans reproduce because they want to reproduce or they failed to take appropriate precautions.

    You’re jumping around between nature and imbecilic and ignorant Christian doctrine, and the result is more jumbled ignorance. You appeal to “nature” then you ignore nature at your earliest convenience. You try to use science but then want people to ignore science if it contradicts your ideology.
    Make up your mind and stop with the fraudulent statements. It is not a fact that sex is just for reproduction. The numbers don’t bear that out. ONLY 3% of sex ends in reproduction which means 97% (at least) is social. That’s the science.

    “God” has revealed nothing. An ignorant middle-eastern Jew wanted attention and probably suffered from paranoid schizophrenia or another delusional disorder, he learnt a couple of magic tricks and other ignorant middle-eastern Jews who couldn’t read or write were very impressed. What you cite as “testimony” is a handful of illiterate idiots pretending they were special because they knew it would benefit them socially and financially. They were con-artists and their followers gullible fools. Obviously the same holds true today.

  97. I suppose people like you are too blinded or you were indoctrinated at such an early age that you’re incapable of seeing the ridiculousness that is Christianity.

    Your “theory” is that an almighty god created man, then ignored mankind for many thousands of years. Meanwhile there were advanced cultures being formed around the globe. The Han dynasty in China made great advances. The Parthians in Persia were also highly advanced. So apparently this god who created all man everywhere on the planet is only worried about X thousand middle eastern Jews. He doesn’t care about the populations of Asia, Africa, South & Central and North America. He cares only about 0.2% of the world population. Actually, he only cares about a minority within that Jewish population.
    After impregnating the virgin with his “son”, this alleged son spends a lot of time spreading messages that are surprisingly similar to the rest of the mythology that’s popular in the region.
    Then a bible is put together through magical telepathy. Even though this god apparently made everything and therefore must know of the advances of other cultures, he doesn’t share any of that information with the people he’s allegedly speaking to. Not only does he not share any useful knowledge, he doesn’t even mention the other peoples. It’s suspiciously like he only knows of things that were happening within a 10 mile radius of the telepathic knowledge receivers.
    As if that’s not absurd enough… humanity keeps going and god “decides” (right?) that every cult who followed his son did it wrong. So 1500 years later he decides it’s all going terribly wrong, so he sends Martin Luther to fix the situation. In the years that follow there’s a lot of infighting amongst the two cults. Wholesale death and destruction. There are even wars and massacres.
    Another few hundred years go by and this bungling god realizes things still aren’t right, so he creates Evangelicals in America. He still doesn’t really care about 70% of the world’s population, he only speaks to and through under-educated Americans.
    That makes perfect sense!!!

  98. “After impregnating the virgin with his “son”, this alleged son spends a lot of time spreading messages that are surprisingly similar to the rest of the mythology that’s popular in the region.”

    I’m embarrassed for you. If you are going to try and take on Christianity you should do more than a cursory reading of the Big Book O’ Atheist Sound Bites.

    Here are just a few things wrong with that Internet meme:

    Many skeptics like to use the “copycat” argument to assert that Christianity borrowed its tenets from other religions. It was a major theme of the Zeitgeist movie (which influenced the worldview of the Arizona shooter, btw) and used by Bill Maher in his movie Religulous to discredit Christianity. In their view, this proves that Christianity must be false. There are a few major problems with this line of thinking.

    1. They weren’t borrowed as many suggest. The Mithras borrowing was a myth, for example. For example, Mithra was born out of a rock, not a virgin as is often claimed. You can go through line by line of the alleged claims about Mithras, Osiris, etc. and show how ridiculous they are. http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com has a lot of information on this topic. Also see http://www.kingdavid8.com/_full_article.php?id=fe54916c-64bc-11e1-8f66-6067e33f8f11

    2. The Old Testament was written 500-2000 years before Jesus’ birth and has countless prophecies of him. These pre-date nearly all the alleged borrowings. If the premise is that earlier writings “prove” that later writings must have been borrowed, then the accusation self-destructs. It would mean that Mithra et al must have borrowed from the Old Testament.

    3. If everyone descended as described in the Bible, then it is to be expected that false religions would have some similar beliefs. They would have known the truth at some point and just perverted it.

    There are over 30 cultures with flood accounts. Does that mean the account of Noah must be false? Of course not. The fact that so many cultures have accounts of a major flood gives more reasons to believe there was a big flood. If you quiz victims of the recent New Orleans flood you’ll get differing accounts, but that doesn’t mean the flood didn’t happen.

    4. Even if there were similarities it doesn’t mean Christianity isn’t true. If people claim your identify falsely it doesn’t mean you don’t exist. Regardless of how many similarities you find with other accounts (and they are really not that similar), it doesn’t prove that Jesus didn’t die on a Roman cross and rise from the dead.

    As Lee Strobel emphasized in the fourth section of The Case for the Real Jesus, regardless of [alleged] similarities between Christianity and other religions, the evidence still points to Jesus rising from the dead.

    5. Note how uncharitably these skeptics view the Bible and how uncritically they view these other ancient texts. The evidence for the accurate transmission of the Bible dwarfs that of other ancient texts, yet the skeptics never appear to question the veracity of anything remotely critical of the Bible. Where is the consistency?

    6. You can find similarities for all sorts of people to “prove” that the must be the same person, such as the “evidence” for why JFK and Lincoln must have been the same person.

    More here — http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/copycats/

    The rest of your “scholarship” and straw men appear to be on par with the comment above. You are a Christian apologists’ dream. I’m surprised atheists don’t accuse us of posing as you to make them look bad.

  99. “There is nothing to suggest we are “designed” for monogamy. Something can be beneficial without that meaning we were “designed” for it.”

    You keep saying this despite my reminding you of biological points that say otherwise. I haven’t put them forth to suggest it is hard fact, but only the suggestion that it is true. You want to deny it on the very basis you use for contradicting me. I can also add the idea of how a monogamous relationship positively benefits the children that relationship might bring forth. This, too, suggests we are made for monogamy.

    “Whenever you start with a conclusion and try to justify it, that’s not science.”

    Pretty much what the activist does.

    “That’s so ridiculous, I can’t believe you were brave enough to type it.”

    I don’t find speaking truth to all that courageous. However, it took a lot of gumption to try to refute it in the weak manner you did in the following sentences. Nothing there is relevant to the fact of why we experience pleasure during sex. What you’ve done is jump way past the starting point to a place where humanity has already gained knowledge and ability to act with conscious intent as opposed to pure instinct. You’re going backwards. “Gee, this is fun!” you exclaim whilst engaging in sex and then declare that the purpose of sex (or “a” purpose) is to have fun. Very mature.

    What’s more, the following sentences suggest humankind has always been born with the knowledge of how reproduction is accomplished and always engaged with either the conscious intent of deriving pleasure, children or some combination of both. Do animals plan pregnancies or are their reproductive acts a result of instinctive compulsion provoked by biological functions such as “being in heat” or the like? For the atheist, how is this resolved? Were we once like the rest of the animal kingdom before evolving to a higher form, or did we always possess the ability to make conscious choices, as the Genesis story suggests? What a conundrum!

    “You’re jumping around between nature and imbecilic and ignorant Christian doctrine, and the result is more jumbled ignorance.”

    It may seem so to the imbecilic and ignorant, but no jumping has been done whatsoever. None that you can show. I’ve only shown how Christian doctrine aligns with the facts of science and biology as regards human sexuality, not mixed them up. That’s only your claim because it serves your purpose to believe I’ve done that. Back it up first and then we’ll talk.

    “Make up your mind and stop with the fraudulent statements. It is not a fact that sex is just for reproduction. The numbers don’t bear that out. ONLY 3% of sex ends in
    reproduction which means 97% (at least) is social. That’s the science.”

    No. It is NOT science. It is only data gathered up and then followed by a self-serving conclusion. Why one engages in sexual behavior has nothing to do with the functional purpose of sexual organs. I can blacken your eye with a right cross, but that doesn’t mean that the functional purpose of the hand is to close it into a fist for combat. It simply can be used as such in the same way a hammer can be used to cave in your skull. Neither is designed for the purpose. The sexual organs aren’t designed for pleasure regardless of whether or not they can be used for such. Indeed, pissing is a pleasurable experience as opposed to holding it back. But pleasure isn’t the point of eliminating waste. (Let me know when you see religion in any of this)

    “What you cite as “testimony” is a handful of illiterate idiots pretending they were special because they knew it would benefit them socially and financially.”

    Which Biblical authors lived in riches and splendor? Some were put to death. Some lived lives of poverty. Some experienced both. Which ones were loaded and living large? What evidence do you have that supports your premise? I’m guessing “none”.

    Your last comment exposes your total ignorance and hatred for that which contradicts your personal preferences. Again. Boo-freakin-hoo. I do not suppose, but am convinced, that people like you are too blinded by your own desire to worship the self to take the time to truly understand the facts about Christianity. All you can see is that your chosen lifestyle is an abomination to God and thus, you hate Him and those who believe in Him. The crotch, and how you choose to pleasure it, is all that matters to you. And you have the gall to say Christianity is ridiculous. That’s funny.

  100. You’re not reminding me of “biological points”- you’re reminding me of religion. You don’t care about biology, unless it supports your myths and ignorance.

    Truth isn’t about religion, it’s about things you can test and corroborate with evidence- that’s the opposite of your ignorant mythology.

    Your clown god hates everyone. He’s so incompetent he’s managed the worse methods in all history to achieve his goals. He’s a childish tyrant that insecure fools, like you use to make themselves and their insignificant existences feel less insignificant. The same way psychopathic, underclass Jews 2000 years ago used this mythology to compensate for their pathetic lives.

    Basically there are under-educated and unsuccessful Americans who haven’t and will not accomplish anything of value in their lives and they deceive themselves by clinging to ridiculous religions to justify their existence. For that to work they also feel the need to identify and persecute other sectors of society so they’re not at the bottom of the hierarchy. Without this fake morality, you’re nothing but an ignorant and irrelevant fool. I completely understand why people of your category need to hold on to this stuff as if your life depended on it. It does.

    • Pink

      Your entire temper tantrum of a comment only serves to expose your victim/activist mental state. No one here has said anything about hating gays or anything like it, but you have managed to “read between the lines” to where any time anyone offers anything against homosexuality, whether its biology or teleology you read hate into it. You are as conditioned to react like that so deeply that you introduce religion into the discussion then blame others, but you don’t see it. You have been the only one offering hate in the form of condescension, belittling, mocking and just down right rudeness. Next time you play the hate card, look in a mirror.

      • I don’t care about your religion, you fool.
        That’s the bit you don’t understand. People don’t have to accept or submit themselves to your ridiculous and ignorant religion.

        Your personal beliefs are not the centre of everyone else’s universe- no matter how hard you try to make it that way. The vast majority of the world doesn’t give a flying f·$% to what your pathetic little ignorant religion thinks, even less to what the modern interpretation of it done by people who barely graduated high-school and can’t do basic math and don’t comprehend basic science.
        I’m not being rude, I’m stating a fact. Religion is your way of compensating for your lack of real importance in the world and fooling yourselves into thinking there’s something great about you because you follow a list of rules in an idiotic archaic and ignorant book. Hurray! You’re soooo special!!!! What it doesn’t change is that eventually we all die, and in the end your life’s work is promoting ignorance and the persecution of your fellow citizens all in the name of your ego.

  101. Pink,

    “I don’t care about your religion…”

    Here’s the good news: you don’t have to. Our clown god has given everyone the ability to choose to care/believe or not. You’ve made your choice and good luck with that. When someone actually puts a gun to your head to force you to believe, let us know. We’ll tell the dude it doesn’t work that way. When someone actually seeks to establish a religion in our country, let us know. We’ll vote against the guy. In the meantime, we’ll continue to speak out against people like you who are trying to deny our enumerated right to freely exercise our religion and abridge our freedom of speech regarding what we know is disordered sexual attractions and desires as well as the sinfulness of acting on those desires. We will defend the proper definition of marriage and family as the only definition suitable for government sanctioning due to its unique qualities and benefits to society. In the meantime, we will also defend your right to pretend you have a better grasp of science, logic and what should constitute morality, your right to express that opinion and even your right to lobby for whatever it is you believe is the direction the nation should move, at least up until the point you start whining and acting childish, like your last couple of comments illustrate you will.

    “You’re not reminding me of “biological points”- you’re reminding me of religion.”

    This is stupid. I have not brought up religion except to show where it aligns with science and reality. You assume a religious perspective is behind every point I make, every position I take and every argument I make. This is problem of yours that a little counseling might remedy. Try Catholic Charities. They’ll even hook you up with a shrink who won’t talk religion. At least they did for my wife after her first husband left her.

    “You don’t care about biology, unless it supports your myths and ignorance.”

    The fact is, I can see where biology conflicts with my faith. That is to say, it explains possible reasons for human behaviors that we are to transcend, such as beating the crap out of a wise ass, or stealing whatever we find attractive, forcing ourselves upon anything in a skirt (in your case, a Scotsman) or a host of other self-serving actions that are compelled by latent survival instincts. The difference is that you use data to support any of these things that you feel geeked to acquire or achieve. You use science as an excuse to act as you please. We use it simply to explain why we might feel so compelled.

    In the case of all we discussed thus far, the science has not been in your corner as you like to believe it has because you are doing exactly that which you accuse me of doing, which is spinning data to further your agenda. Now that I’ve countered each attempt, you have begun to pout. Very sad.

    “Truth isn’t about religion…”

    Then its a good thing I haven’t taken that position. However, our religion is about truth. Deny the truth if you so choose. You have that right and God has given you that ability to so choose. Again, good luck with that.

    What’s more, I am just as eager to learn scientific truths and you have yet to present any that contradicts or confounds my understanding. Am I expert on any of the sciences? No. But I do not require sheepskin to have common sense and the ability to reason. Your conclusions of the data you have thus far presented does not suggest the same for you. It does suggest you are guilty of the sins of which you accuse me as regards understanding science. But I forgive you. You’re just fallen.

    “Your clown god hates everyone.”

    Of course he does. He says so in the Book of Pink 3:9-11.

    “Basically there are under-educated and unsuccessful Americans who haven’t and will not accomplish anything of value in their lives and they deceive themselves by clinging to ridiculous religions to justify their existence.”

    No doubt. At the same time, there are well-educated and highly successful Americans who have accomplished much of value in their lives and give all the glory to God for having so blessed them. Then there’s you.

    “For that to work they also feel the need to identify and persecute other sectors of society so they’re not at the bottom of the hierarchy. Without this fake morality, you’re nothing but an ignorant and irrelevant fool. I completely understand why people of your category need to hold on to this stuff as if your life depended on it. It does.”

    Now that’s funny! Did you make that up yourself, or did you copy and paste it from Dan Savage?

  102. Gee, Pink. Thanks for showing us where you get your atheist ideas. Do you have any clever cartoons that are based on reality?

    The punch line is particularly ironic. There’s not a Christian who would disagree that people will behave well or badly regardless of whether or not they believe in God. Was that really the point of the cartoon? Do atheists really think that is not a common understanding? What would be the point of reiterating something so incredibly obvious?

    Third video offered in an attempt to “expose” the fallacy of theistic belief (two from you and one from another guy). Not one of them got very far before they erected strawmen to knock down. I could argue against theistic belief better than any of these videos do. How pathetic!


  1. […] our history and that silence allowed for the propagation of myths and anti-logic- as can be seen in this discussion. The discussion in question didn’t happen in 1965, it happened yesterday. In it you can see […]

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