Exhaustive study: Gun restrictions = more murder

A 30 year-long peer reviewed study published in the journal Applied Economics Letters has found that states with more restrictions on owning and carrying firearms conclusively leads to higher instances of murder.

(Study Abstract) — The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons laws on state-level murder rates. Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level. The results of this study are consistent with some prior research in this area, most notably Lott and Mustard (1997).

The study essentially debunks assertions by anti-gun activists that in order to reduce the amount of gun related crime there needs to be tighter restrictions on ownership and the ability to carry firearms.

At the same time, another study has found that the Commonwealth of Virginia is the worst place to be a burglar.  Can you guess why?

(Fairfax Times) — According to statistics compiled by SimpliSafe Home Security Systems, Virginia homeowners are 46 percent less likely to be burgled than the national average.

The study compares the legislative codes of all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, and contrasts maximum and minimum burglary sentences, as well as maximum fines, as well as other factors.

According to the study, Virginia has both the highest maximum fine for burglary–$100,000–as well as the toughest maximum prison sentence–life in prison.

“We also looked into ‘stand your ground’ and ‘castle doctrine’ laws, which mandate the lengths to which homeowners can legally go to protect their property, under the logic that getting shot at is, effectively, another consequence of burglary in some places,” the study states. “In order to compare states, we developed a ranking system that weighed each data point according to where it fell within its range. We added up these weights to get a total for each state, sorted the totals, and came up with this list: the 13 states where you really, really don’t want to be convicted of burglary.”

[…]

In Virginia, neither law is on the books, but the total number of firearms purchased by residents increased 73 percent from 2006 to 2011, according to another recent study by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. When state population increases are factored in, gun purchases per 100,000 Virginians rose 63 percent during that same period.

According to the SimpliSafe study, burglaries in Virginia have decreased more than 16 percent since the year 2000. The study states that the average burglary rate for Virginians is 361 per 100,000 residents, the lowest for all 50 states and DC,compared to the national average of 667 per 100,000.

Virginia punishes criminals, not legal gun owners, that’s why.

Comments

  1. Correlation is not causation. It is not the absence of guns that leads to the gun crime, but rather a variety of other cultural issues that cause this effect. For example, the black market that gun prohibition creates, the availability of guns to criminals in said black market, the profit by criminals to own guns, the already existing crime in areas that decide to prohibit guns, etc.

    I wrote an article about it not long ago: https://siftingreality.com/2013/04/23/gun-laws-accomplish-nothing-an-analytical-approach/

    • I remember. But this goes beyond looking at just numbers. It follows the states as the laws are strengthened and eased. It follows as bans are enacted and removed. In this case there is more than correlation, its causation and confirms earlier studies on the matter.

  2. vincedeporter says:

    My question is what does it matter if the numbers prove that more restrictions produce more killings? It this not a moral issue, rather than one of personal rights?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am for having the right to defense guns — just not assault weapons.

    Again, I have to wonder why the gun supporters are mostly on the Right, which often claims to follow Christ. What would Christ say? Who would think that he would condone fire arms (let alone assault weapons) just because statistics are in favor for them?

    I fail to see the consistance.

    • Why would Jesus not support the right to defend yourself? Those on the political right dont want the right to own and carry guns so that tuey can shoot people, they believe tuey uave the right to defend themselves.

      • vincedeporter says:

        Because Jesus was very clear on the subject when he told Peter “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
        in Matthew 26:52 — this while Peter was defending his Lord.

        There is a clear message in Jesus’ lifestyle also — throughout his dangerous ministry, he never carried a weapon nor did he preach any defense — on the contrary, he said “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

        This is why I am surprised. Also, as I have said above, why assault weapons? Wouldn’t be reasonable to ban those at least?

  3. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Why would Jesus not support the right to defend yourself?

    I think the question (One question) might be: Does “defending one’s self” require guns, bombs and/or artillery?

    Jesus taught that we are to turn the other cheek. That we are to overcome evil with good. That we are to trust God for our defense, not weaponry. That we are to allow God to avenge, not us. Jesus taught us that those who live by the sword die by the sword. etc.

    As one who routinely walks unarmed through “tough” urban settings, day and night, I believe that the best defense is a Godly and peaceable offense.

    If one has a gun (a knife, a hand grenade, whatever), in fear, one could easily drop back to using the tools at hand.

    On the other hand, if one is walking unarmed, one then relies on other means – a calm demeanor, a loving and peaceable attitude, God’s own mighty arm, etc – for defense.

    The Bible does not tell us what Jesus’ opinion is about guns, but a fair and balanced reading of the New Testament reveals Jesus’ clear bent towards peaceable solutions to even deadly oppression. This bent is carried on in the NT church.

    As to why? I think the Gandhis and MLKs of the world have the right of it: We embrace peaceable solutions rather than guns and deadly solutions because the best defense is a peaceable one.

    Another opinion, for what it’s worth.

    ~Dan

  4. paynehollow says:

    Yes, that explains how Jesus and the disciples kept fighting back when their lives were threatened.

  5. paynehollow says:

    …oh, wait, that didn’t happen. Indeed, the one time that Jesus’ disciple produced a sword in defense, Jesus told him to put it away, for those who live by the sword, die by the sword.

    ~Dan

  6. paynehollow says:

    To the point of your post, I do question the validity of the belief that reduced guns = reduced violent crimes. I am just not sure the data supports the conclusion. I think we have a violence problem that exists mostly in our heads and hearts.

    On the other hand, I also think that we can reasonably place some restrictions on firearm ownership, just not because it will necessarily reduce killings.

    ~Dan

  7. paynehollow says:

    John…

    …when he was being taken into custody so he could fulfil his purpose.

    And why did all the early Christians follow this example, even though they were not serving as a blood sacrifice (which I assume you mean was “Jesus’ purpose…”)?

    I think you’re stretching biblical conclusions if you want to argue that Jesus would endorse gun ownership for defense. There just isn’t anything there to support it and a lot that would contradict it.

    ~Dan

  8. vincedeporter says:

    Oops! My response was redundant. Sorry — I didn’t see there was an ongoing discussion.

  9. vincedeporter says:

    In short, I just wanted to point out that beyond Jesus’ words, his whole life’s example and that of his disciples couldn’t be clearer that The Messiah would have never supported Guns.

    • I think youd have to presume Jesus was a pacifist. Youd have to presume that God values the life of violence of the criminal more than you defendimg yours. That its better for your wife to be a widow amd your kids to have no father. Its nonsense.

  10. vincedeporter says:

    Both. Jesus was talking to Peter here: A peaceful person who would use a weapon only to defend himself, or in this case his Lord.

  11. vincedeporter says:

    I’m not arguing the right to defense guns, John. I’m with you on this. I’m just arguing the fact that when I was a Christian, I chose not to bear arms because of my Christ-based conscience. (I never judged any who had a different conscience.)
    I just find it odd that one can claim to follow Christ and fight gun control.

    I am also a bit worried about the latitude that goes with the right to bear arms. Again, I refer to assault weapons… What do you think of those?

    • If you want to be a pacifist thats fine. But then it would have to extend to fists as well. Turn the other cheek. I just pray that if my wife is being raped in an alley it isnt someone who thinks they should turn the other cheek. I hope its someone who values innocent human life more than a rapists sexual needs.

  12. vincedeporter says:

    Jesus was not a pacifist. Reading Revelation proves that point. I agree.

    But there were no guns at the time. Had there been guns and assault weapons, I think he would have been against them.

    Let’s say He would have agreed to defense weapons (which goes against his obvious philosophy), how to you rationalize assault weapons? I could be wrong — do you agree these should not be available?

    • It really depends on why someone would want an assault weapon. There are thousands of americans who own them yet they are rarely ever used in killings. What makes them scary is jot that theyre used, but they carry a stigma and a scarry name.

  13. vincedeporter says:

    //That its better for your wife to be a widow and your kids to have no father. Its nonsense.//

    Again, I agree with you. Needless to remind you that I am not a fan of Jesus, nor the Father. But I try hard to be consistent with myself, and I think it’s a good goal to attain: inner consistency.

    I just don’t know how you manage to marry both issues.

  14. vincedeporter says:

    In other words, I agree with you, and not with Christ’s philosophy.
    When I was a christian, my cognitive dissonance was buzzing on this one.

  15. vincedeporter says:

    //There are thousands of americans who own them yet they are rarely ever used in killings.//

    Um… Columbine? The Batman massacre?… you can’t be serious my friend.

  16. paynehollow says:

    John…

    what kind of person lives by the sword? A peaceful person who would use a weapon only to defend themself

    But this is exactly what was happening when Jesus uttered those words. He was not giving a teaching about himself (and his blood sacrifice) in context, but he was speaking about them, teaching THEM not to live by the sword, setting the example for them that this includes even for self-defense.

    Peter, echoing the teachings of Jesus, notes in his first epistle (writing about the possible violent oppression they may experience)…

    it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people…

    if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

    “He committed no sin,
    and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

    When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

    Again, textually, you really have to ignore an awful lot of clear teachings to get to the position that Jesus actively advocates or would support violent self defense.

    Now, if you want to argue based on your own reasoning that it is a good thing to do, that is fine with me. I’m just saying you can’t really ascribe this teaching to Jesus. At best, you can argue from silence that Jesus never condemned violent self defense and reason endorses it. You just can’t argue that Jesus advocates it.

    Fair enough?

    ~Dan

  17. vincedeporter says:

    I don’t want to dispute you on this, because I actually agree on part of your article.
    But I don’t see ANY good reason to own an assault weapon, and I find it morally wrong to defend such “right”. A single killing is already too much. School shootings and angry fired employees would do MUCH less harm if all they owned was a defense weapon.

  18. vincedeporter says:

    Also, if I may add this, defense does not have to be a kill. You can defend your family by shooting to maim, to stop the assault. So granted I find it absurd to turn the other cheek, but from that to killing there is a huge moral gap!

    • Vince, I dont see an inconsistency because I dont think the verses pacifists use to claim Jesus was one are misinterpreted by them.

      I also dont think it runs contrary to Christ’s philosophy to own an assault weapon. I do think it goes against his philosophy to misue the weapon, to victimize another. But whether the gun can fire fully auto or semi-auto makes little difference UNLESS your point in owning it is to cause havoc.

  19. vincedeporter says:

    We don’t have to agree fully on this point… but may I ask you if you at least understand my perspective? Do you see that Christ’s philosophy is the contrary to the right to owning a AK-47?

  20. vincedeporter says:

    I guess we don’t see this the same way. Fair enough.
    How you can rationalize that Jesus would see no problem in owning an assault weapon is amazing to me, really. But again, this us being human — we can’t agree on everything.

    To me, owning an assault weapon is clearly to kill. It shows no intent to unarm or stop a crime. It’s to kill — the most effectively possible. If you can defend this eye to eye with Jesus, who am I to judge?

    We will agree to disagree on this. ;)

  21. I’ll ask again: who are those who live by the sword? Soldiers? Law enforcement personnel? How many of these die by the sword? The number of people who own weapons of all sorts is in the millions. How many of these die by the sword? Total them all and truly, the percentage weighs in favor of those who do not die by the sword. This suggests Christ’s meaning was not as many would prefer to think. Based on the facts, the meaning would have to refer to someone other than a peaceful, law-abiding person who happens to own weapons. Such people do not live by their weapons. They do not regard their weapons as the answer to every problem. A gang-banger might be a person like this, and we see that it is more common for gang-bangers to die violent deaths because of the violent lives they lead, particularly the violence they seek to perpetrate. We don’t want to see such people with ANY weapons, “assault” or otherwise.

    But the peaceful,. responsible and law-abiding citizen is free to own anything, as far as I’m concerned, because such people pose no (or very little) risk. They see their weapons as choice of last resort, and are responsible with the keeping and use of such weapons. They are practiced and hopeful the practice is in vain.

    I have no problem with people who choose to allow themselves to risk death rather than defend themselves. But to kill someone who is about to kill you is not returning evil, particularly if one does not desire to kill anyone, even a**holes. But while choosing instead to die might be commendable before God, and even something to which we are called, it doesn’t follow that we risk our salvation for putting one in an a**hole’s forehead instead of letting him put one in ours.

    We should always do good. We should always treat others, even a**holes with love and respect. But such people are typically cowardly, and a show of strength can work miracles in getting them to notice how loving and peaceful we are. It always works.

  22. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    This suggests Christ’s meaning was not as many would prefer to think. Based on the facts, the meaning would have to refer to someone other than a peaceful, law-abiding person who happens to own weapons.

    But in the text Jesus is speaking to someone who is a peaceful, law-abiding person who happened to own a weapon – one of his disciples. You are reading away the plain meaning of the text.

    But the peaceful,. responsible and law-abiding citizen is free to own anything, as far as I’m concerned, because such people pose no (or very little) risk.

    I don’t care how peaceful and law-abiding you are, I (and I think most of the world) do not want you to own nuclear weapons. We don’t want you to own tactical missiles. We don’t want you to own germ warfare weapons. We don’t want you to own bazookas. There’s a whole range of over-the-top weaponry that most of us just don’t want out there in the public realm, and for rational reasons. You may be responsible (today), but what of when mental illness strikes? What if you find your reasoning compromised by drink or by fear or by rage? What of when your home is broken into and your weapons stolen?

    Most of the world recognizes that we can have a freedom to own reasonable weapons and yet, we can still reasonably place limits on what sort of weaponry is out there in the hands of “normal” people.

    You almost certainly agree in principle, even if we might draw the lines differently.

    ~Dan

  23. vincedeporter says:

    We do not have to abide to the spirit of Jesus’ words, Marshalart. Again, Jesus was talking to Peter, clearly not a soldier, nor a violent man.

    In view of the irritation you seem to suffer with this subject, and with repeated words like a**hole, it seems evident to me that you don’t talk the words in the spirit in which Jesus’ words were spoken and written.

    I contend that fighting for the right to bear assault weapons is in total opposition to Christ’s spirit. It is ironic that this atheist is defending the peaceful message Jesus preached.

    We don’t need to agree on this, of course.

  24. vincedeporter says:

    paynehollow, you make an EXCELLENT point. I was neighbors with a good man who owned a couple of AK-47s. He fought in Iraq… there were days when he drank a little too much and played with his Kalashnikov even in view of the kids. What if?…

    To make it easier to own weapons with the amount of depression and other mental issues out there is irresponsible. Period.

  25. I’m tired of this discussion. You guys have gone off-topic in ridiculing John for imagined hypocrisy. So, to respond to that digression….

    First, Dan is the biggest hypocrite I’ve come across on this or any blog. He proclaims his Christianity and love of God, but supports abortion (child murder) and same-sex marriage. Dan, therefore, has no credibility. And since Dan ignores everything everyone else says, I address my comments to Vince.

    Exodus 22:2, “If the thief is caught while breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguiltiness on his account.”

    Incorrectly, people say the Six Commandment says, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” In reality, it says, “Thou Shalt Not Murder.” To prove this, I direct you to the Law of Sinai.

    Additionally, the Old Testament presents violence as a morally-acceptable choice in a number of situations and circumstances, not the least of which found in Genesis 14. So, while you may be willing to discount the first 39 books of the Bible, God-fearing Christians, who view all 66 books as revelation from God Almighty, are not.

    And while it’s certainly true that many passages speak of peace and love, not one of them are intended to serve as a guide during an imminent threat to your life. They command forgiveness over vengeance and love over hate. They say nothing about protecting yourself in a life and death situation. To reinforce this interpretation, I refer you to Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live in peace with everyone.” Note: If it is possible….

    Regardless, we shouldn’t be debating the politics of God, as if He weren’t so far beyond the pettiness of human beings. I suggest a return to the orginal topic.

  26. That last bit by Terrance from Romans is an excellent point.

    Vince—Don’t be too put off by my choice of words. My comment was long enough without also trying to sugar coat my point with words you feel are appropriate. My goal is to be understood easily. What type of person would be conjured in the minds of most people who is called an a**hole? Any irritation I suffer arises when emotion is assumed in my commentaries. Rest assured, if I am irritated, I will say so.

    Also, Vince, your anecdote speaks of someone who does NOT act responsibly and maturely with his weapons.

    To you and Dan, I never mentioned nukes or chem weapons, but in the hands of a responsible individual, no threat exists anymore than that which exists by nations possessing them. Do you commonly see mushroom clouds? I don’t.

    But of course, Dan likes to go to extremes to make his point. The reason why automatic weapons were banned for civilian use is because of the criminal element that abused the right to bear such arms. Always a bad precedent to deny all for the actions of a very small few.

    Also, the fact that Peter drew his sword at the first sign (to him) of trouble, belies the notion that at that time he could be considered a man of peace. He was packing. He drew immediately. Not a man of peace. And it was to this response that Jesus spoke.

    • The fact that peter had a sword and spent time in Jesus’ without a word from Jesus saying he shouldnt be carrying a sword in the first place say something. The fact that Jesus tells him to put it away and not to get rid of it or that je never should have had it says something too. It was something about that particular situation that made its use wrong. That situation being Jesus’ being taken into custody so he could fulfill his purpose.

  27. paynehollow says:

    John…

    It was something about that particular situation that made its use wrong.

    Again, it is not one text, but many.

    Again, in the context of the one text, Jesus is speaking to HIS peaceable disciples, telling THEM how to live, not saying that “IN THIS ONE SPECIFIC CASE WHERE I AM PREPARING TO BE A (according to John) ‘blood sacrifice,’ don’t do it,” it was a general teaching against “living by the sword.”

    Indeed, I point again to 1 Peter 2, where Peter points to Jesus’ non-aggressive, non-violent lifestyle – even in the threat of violence and oppression – as THE model for us to live by.

    Again, I am fine with you arguing that there are reasons OUTSIDE of Jesus’ teachings as to why we might shoot people. I am fine with you saying that you don’t find Jesus’ arguments or rules compelling or that there is a silence on Jesus on the topic. Just don’t try to argue that Jesus would actively support your bearing weapons for self defense. THAT is not in the text.

    Terrance…

    the Old Testament presents violence as a morally-acceptable choice in a number of situations and circumstances, not the least of which found in Genesis 14

    But we are not OT Jews, Terrance. We have a NEW Testament and specific teachings from Jesus to those who accept his teachings. If we’re going to just default to OT teachings or give them preeminence over Jesus’ teachings, then we need to change our religious affiliation to Orthodox Jew, not Christian.

    Jesus said, “You have heard it said, an eye for an eye…” invoking the OT teaching on response to violent attacks, “But I TELL YOU, turn the other cheek… Overcome evil with good…” Jesus gave new and improved understanding of how we best love our enemies.

    The OT is a great source of wisdom and knowledge, but it is not our final arbiter of morality, if we are a follower of Jesus.

    If you want to argue outside the Bible that it is rational to you to bear arms in self defense, by all means do it. I’m just asking that you don’t attach Jesus’ name to your opinions, as if Jesus endorses what you are saying, when he hasn’t.

    I do agree with you, Terrance, that this is a side track to the main point of the post, but since John and others were going down that trail, I was just trying to keep the facts straight. I will say that I certainly am not, and I don’t see Vince “ridiculing John…” We are just saying that trying to attach Jesus’ name and endorsement to what John is saying strains credulity. It just isn’t a good match. Argue the point if you want, I truly am entirely fine with that… just don’t say, “thus saith the Lord…” about your own opinions.

    ~Dan

  28. paynehollow says:

    So, where Terrance says…

    we shouldn’t be debating the politics of God

    On this point, I agree. Stop trying to make God endorse your political position. Just make your point without saying, “Jesus would agree with it…,” especially when that seems so patently ridiculous.

    ~Dan

  29. vincedeporter says:

    //The fact that peter had a sword and spent time in Jesus’ without a word from Jesus saying he shouldnt be carrying a sword in the first place say something.//

    Yes — that is a good point. Something to think about…

  30. vincedeporter says:

    I will gladly concede you just made a valid point on Jesus having had many opportunities to address the subject of not bearing arms. Well noted.

    Do you not think however, that there is a stretch between a sword and a Kalashnikov?

    What we have is Jesus not banning weapons per se, but preaching a message of peace and non-retribution between men, as vengeance is His. Not a pacifist message either I must say…

    In short, we can appeal to our own conscience in this matter — as clearly, Jesus’ message is rather foggy on the subject.

    This is my only valid argument left: I find it ridiculous to push the right to bear arms that clearly, have totally surpassed the lethality of Christ’s words, and that of the Constitution when guns were loaded one bullet at a time.

    If you don’t see this huge gap, I have no further argument.
    I chose to support stricter gun control.

  31. vincedeporter says:

    Terrance, I agree wholeheartedly that the OT is a bloody call for genocide and the murder of pagans. The OT is a marvelous argument in favor of lethal arms.
    I was referring to Christ — as “Christians” follow the new covenant he made with us. One that annules the eye for eye spirit, as he stated in Matt. 5:38,39.

    I resent your judgement on me that I have not respected John. I may be the only one here that concedes whole perspectives when I’m corrected. I an an honest debater, and I defend my perspective to the point where I see my mistake. That is my main quest: intellectual consistency and honesty within. You have no grounds to question that.
    John knows well that my perspective is an honest one. I fight my bias all the time.

    I have all I needed to on the subject. Keep rationalizing the freedom to bearing arms.
    I just needed to voice my opinion and thoughts, as prompted in the comment box.

  32. vincedeporter says:

    In case anyone missed this — I’m an atheist precisely because I have studied my bible for decades, and finally had to concede that the God of the OT is a monster. I was left with the message of peace from Christ — that I continue to question for it’s sincerity (especially when I read Revelation).

    However, I HAVE addressed the question a part from my Christian argument. Read above Terrance. I was just trying to understand how a good christian can rationalize assault weapons — and they do. I find it rather disturbing.

  33. vincedeporter says:

    By the way, as far as I can remember, the Bible says nothing precise about pedophilia… does that mean it’s okay?

  34. paynehollow says:

    Vince…

    Yes — that is a good point. Something to think about…

    Actually, John has lifted that out of context a bit. In context, here is what happened:

    When Jesus sent his disciples out, they specifically carried no money or sword and really nothing beyond their sandals and clothes. As a general rule, there was no evidence that they were sword carriers. COULD they have been? Sure, it’s possible, it’s just not mentioned specifically.

    Keeping in mind that at least one of the disciples was identified as a zealot – part of a group of people who advocated the overthrow of the Roman oppressors. But, it is not clear that he was actually a part of that group, as historically speaking, the Zealot movement did not start until after the time of Jesus’ death, at least according to some. But in Jesus’ teachings, there clearly was nothing spoken in favor of the violent overthrow of the Roman oppressors. And, following the Gospels, there is nothing in the epistles or in Acts speaking of violent overthrow – even in face of the deadly persecution they were facing. Instead, Peter, Paul, etc spoke of overcoming evil with good, of following in the steps of the non-violent example of Jesus.

    In that context, near Jesus’ pending capture and capital punishment, he says, “But now the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered among the lawless; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.”

    They [the disciples] said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”

    Two things:

    1. They generally didn’t have swords. Jesus had to check to make sure a sword was on hand. They had TWO. Jesus and his disciples were facing a vast Roman army with spears, chariots and swords. With TWO swords, they were not mounting an uprising to oppose violence, nor were they for self defense. They were for some other reason.

    2. Jesus gives the reason for the sword and it was NOT for protection. It was specifically so that they would be counted as lawless. The text says that specifically and later, when one of those two swords were used in self defense, the disciple is chastised. He missed the point. The point was specifically NOT self defense, but part of Jesus’ being counted as a criminal. Or for fulfilling prophecy, if you want to read it that way. But specifically NOT self defense.

    Just to clarify that point.

    Again, argue in favor of guns for self defense if you want, just don’t attach Jesus as your reason for doing so, as the text does not support that and you undermine your case by chasing a “God clause” where none exists.

    ~Dan

  35. Maybe Jesus meant that he doesn’t want disciples to be soldiers “of Christ”. It’s true that in many cases, those who live by the sword die by the sword, gun, bomb. Still, we don’t have a problem with certain people having such weapons. If no citizen should have any of these, why should a police officer be armed at all? Because bad guys are armed? Absolutely! But that would suggest that being armed is acceptable. Why then shouldn’t I be armed?

    I see that assault weapons seems to be the sticking point. “They’re for killing”, someone posted. So are .22 revolvers. So are mere swords! Yes. Weapons are for killing people. Doesn’t it follow that more people who don’t want to kill people SHOULD have the means to kill?

  36. paynehollow says:

    C2C, I am fine with whatever rational reasons you may want to offer in support of guns. I’m just saying don’t drag Jesus into it, especially because his message was so counter to the “protect yourself with weapons” message. Stick to your rationalizations and real world defenses, and we can debate those, just don’t say, “Jesus agrees with me on this…”

    That has been my point.

    For what it’s worth, I’m not in favor of a total gun ban, just limitations on what weapons we do and don’t allow to be out in the general public. In principle, then, I’m at the same point as most of you, we just might draw the line someplace differently.

    And Marshall, THAT is the point of bringing in larger weaponry – to make the PRINCIPLE clear. We ALL (most of us, anyway) agree that SOME limitations are rational. It’s just a question of where we draw the line.

    Do you REALLY think it acceptable for an average citizen to own bombs of any and all sorts?

    ~Dan

  37. I only mention Jesus because of the one line: live by the sword.

    The rest was about real world.

  38. I have a couple responses to Vince and Dan, with my thoughts for Vince bookending this lengthy comment.

    Vince, I wonder how you would define “assault weapons.” One can very precisely define automatic weapons to be those firearms that can empty the entire clip if you hold down the trigger, but I find that the concept of assault weapons to be MUCH more nebulous — to the point that it often comes down to mere aesthetics. Assault weapons aren’t more deadly, just more scary-looking.

    (Assault RIFLES have a clearer definition, that they can switch between automatic and semi-automatic fire.)

    Even if you have a clear and rational definition for assault weapons, I’m not sure how the teachings of Christ and the Apostles would draw a line at those weapons. Indiscriminate violence is surely to be avoided whenever possible, but a fully automatic rifle isn’t indiscriminate in the hands of the well-trained, and even a hand-grenade isn’t indiscriminate if used, e.g., to clear out a bunker facing the Normandy coast.

    I know the discussion has veered to what the Bible says, not what the Constitution says, but I know some people suggest that the Founders would have never intended so-called assault weapons to be protected by the Second Amendment. (These same people rarely discuss whether the Internet’s instantaneous global broadcasting was ever imagined by people who drafted the First Amendment in the era of the manual printing press.)

    People who believe there was a clear distinction between military arms and private arms should look up the concept of the privateer. Though the privateer was authorized by a government to cause havoc for ships sailing under an enemy’s flag, the privateer was a privately owned warship, complete with rows of that most destructive weapon of the era, the cannon.

    Individuals and companies could AND DID arm their private fleets of merchant vessels and escorts. Having cannons onboard was no crime, just using those cannons in acts of piracy. (Funny enough, pirates rarely targeted ships with cannons.) There were no weapons that the Continental Congress considered too dangerous for private hands.

    Dan:

    To the point of your post, I do question the validity of the belief that reduced guns = reduced violent crimes.

    On what basis do you question the validity?

    I am just not sure the data supports the conclusion.

    What’s the argument for why your doubt is rational and not emotional?

    I think we have a violence problem that exists mostly in our heads and hearts.

    Should we assume, then, that you oppose gun restrictions because they don’t address that root problem, or is the head-and-heart problem somehow a rationale only against concealed-carry laws?

    Dan, for the sake of accuracy, I must remind you that it was Paul who taught that we should overcome evil with good, not Jesus. He did so as an Apostle of Christ teaching in His name, and he very well could be conveying a spoken teaching of the Lord, but Scripture doesn’t provide evidence for that conjecture.

    And, IMMEDIATELY after teaching that we should overcome evil with good, in Romans 12:21, Paul affirmed that the government is an agent of divine wrath that “does not bear the sword in vain,” so OBVIOUSLY violence isn’t an intrinsic evil that is forbidden in all circumstances.

    (Promiscuity is consistently condemned in the Bible, but not violence. There’s a time for war, but not adultery, and the armor of God is a positive martial metaphor while the whore of Babylon is a wholly negative sexual metaphor.)

    I’ve pointed this out before, on more than one occasion, that the same Apostle who taught to overcome evil with good IMMEDIATELY endorsed certain uses of violence. I don’t believe you’ve ever adequately disputed any of this, and I wonder whether a person of good faith would present arguments as if they’re persuasive, when he knows full well that they’ve been criticized on the substance before, and when he knows he hasn’t refuted that criticism.

    Dan, you keep mentioning, “Jesus taught us that those who live by the sword die by the sword.”

    So what? We’re not talking about swords, we’re talking about firearms, and I would think that even a pacifist can distinguish between the two.

    And I would think that there’s at least one thing about firearms that commends them to you: at least compared to swords, guns are egalitarian.

    George Orwell put it well:

    It is a commonplace that the history of civilization is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon–so long as there is no answer to it–gives claws to the weak.

    “Claws to the weak,” a perfect description of the gun.

    Swords are the weapons of young, athletic individuals, usually men.

    If a woman was being harassed by an abusive ex-boyfriend who is handy with a Louisville Slugger, or if an old man was scared to walk the streets because of teenage hoodlums who are adept with the switchblade, I wouldn’t recommend a sword — or a baseball bat or a knife, both of which require more dexterity than other options. The obvious best way for the weak and oppressed to escape this sort of victimhood is to carry a handgun.

    Guns and swords are very different, Dan, and Jesus didn’t discuss guns.

    When it suits you, you’re quick to argue that cultural changes limit the applicability of even Jesus’ teachings: previously unimaginable changes in technology should have the same effect, if not more of an effect.

    If the Bible’s consistent prohibition of homosexual activities is irrelevant because its writers could not imagine loving, faithful, ostensibly healthy homosexual relationships, why may we not conclude that the occasional criticism of first-century melee weapons have little bearing on twenty-first-century ranged weapons?

    Matthew 19:4-5 appeals to what God intended “from the beginning,” even prior to the Fall. Matthew 26:52 does not.

    It’s obvious how it serves your political beliefs to conclude that the former is somehow less universally applicable than the latter. What’s not obvious is a coherent and convincing rationale for that conclusion.

    Back to Vince.

    Vince, I believe Christian ethics are best understood, NOT as requiring non-violence, but in requiring non-retaliation, in which case violent self-defense (defense, NOT retaliation) may be more biblically justifiable than the sort of non-violent “direct action” that some political agitators recommend.

    After all, in Matthew 5, Jesus taught “turn the other cheek” as only one of several applied examples of the more general principle, “do not resist the one who is evil.”

    There are occasions when our duties as Christians are in conflict, in which case mature and faithful Christians may well disagree about how to resolve that conflict. In the case where the duty to non-retaliation conflicts with (or seems to conflict; I’d say it only constrains) the duty to protect your family, my general approach would be this: my immediate duty is to protect my family, using force if necessary, and subsequently I have a duty to reach out to the intruder in Christian love AFTER he no longer poses a threat.

    If you heard a rattlesnake in your backyard where your kids are liable to play, your duty is obvious: kill or remove the snake. I don’t see how that duty is reduced in the face of a more direct threat to your family, just because the threat is human.

    In the heat of the moment, and in light of the fact that a maimed assailant is not always an incapacitated assailant, I do not begrudge the individual who defaults to being effective in stopping the threat, even if that means taking shots that are more likely to be lethal. We have a duty to prepare ourselves for the unforeseen, and that includes firearm training, but such training may make a person generally safer all-around but ALSO more lethal in dangerous situations.

    Few people have the resources to become Batman, able to incapacitate any assailant with non-lethal force.

    I’ve thought this through and revised my beliefs a few times in light of studying the Bible — John Stott’s commentary on the Sermon on the Mount was a real turning point for me — and my position is subject to further revision, but as things stand now, here’s what I believe, regarding how my Christian duties ought to guide my actions in this sort of circumstance.

    – My duty to my family would require me to use whatever force is necessary to protect them, including violent and lethal force, and my duty to the community would require me to call the authorities, press charges, etc.

    – However, ONCE I’m sure whatever threat has been neutralized and help is on its way, my Christian duty of non-retaliation means that I certainly don’t keep going, attacking the incapacitated out of fear or anger. If I knocked the punk out with a blunt object or shot him with a firearm, I should treat the injury if possible, and I certainly call for an ambulance.

    – Afterwards, my duty to the community may entail opposing parole or early release if I think the guy is unrepentant and still a danger to society, or if I think that proportional justice generally requires serving out close to full terms of a sentence. But rather than spend my life hating the guy for the one traumatizing night, I should pray for him, and I could give no better testimony to my being a disciple of Christ than ministering to him in prison EVEN if I support his still being there.

    That’s my take, at least.

  39. Dan,

    It doesn’t matter how many times its explained, you just don’t get it. You create God in your own imagine by treating the Bible like a buffet, picking and choosing what’s tasty and not. You’re a heretic. You never care to debate the merits of a particular issue. Instead, you purposely inflame the conversation so you can get off. Precisely the reason you refer to Glenn as “brother” even though he’s requested numerous times that you don’t. You’re a troll.

    Anyway. The point I was making is that God is not opposed to violence in situations that call for it. There is nothing in the New Testament to indicate that is no longer true. Those passages you continually cite are not intended to serve as a guide in an imminent life and death situation. They are meant as a guide for peaceful living —— when possible. If, however, someone is breaking into your house with the intent to do you harm, you have every right to defend yourself.

    You don’t agree? So if someone broke into your house with the intent of raping your children you would allow them to? You’d sit in the corner and mutter those passages you take out of context?

    My guess is you’d do whatever necessary to protect your family, including killing the SOB. Is that a sin? Based on your logic, yes.

  40. vincedeporter says:

    This thread is making me sick to my stomach.
    Keep on rationalizing without me… : Assault weapons aren’t more deadly, just more scary-looking.” You must be totally numb to reality.

    Yes, a machine gun is just “more scary”, and is obviously not “more deadly” — what was I thinking? Silly me. LOL.

    Bye bye to bad faith.
    I’m done here.

  41. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    “To the point of your post, I do question the validity of the belief that reduced guns = reduced violent crimes.

    On what basis do you question the validity?

    I think you misunderstand, I was agreeing with John. I doubt the validity of the belief that reduced guns = reduced violent crimes based on the evidence in places with reduced access to guns sometimes being still prone to violence. I don’t totally disagree with the notion, just saying I don’t think it’s as simple as simply banning guns to end violence.

    Do you understand my point, that I’m agreeing with John?

    Terrance…

    So if someone broke into your house with the intent of raping your children you would allow them to? You’d sit in the corner and mutter those passages you take out of context?

    If I saw anyone being accosted violently, I would intervene. I have, in the real world, intervened in such cases. I have never had to kill anyone to stop the violence, nor did I need a gun to give me the courage to do what needed to be done.

    In the real world, I have walked up to a young thug beating a lady (his girlfriend, it would appear), placed myself between the man and his victim (and the young man had several of his buddies with him, too, watching the scene), and I talked him out of his violence, appealing to his friends to stand with me and do the right thing.

    I have never said or suggested that I believe in doing nothing in the face of violence. In the real world, I have demonstrated that this is not the case. Nor do I think it is accurate to interpret Jesus’ words to be encouraging passivism (ie, doing nothing). I don’t believe in doing nothing, I believe in overcoming evil with good, right, reasonable actions.

    ~Dan

  42. Misread, Dan, thanks — and after posting, it did click with me that you wrote, “I also think that we can reasonably place some restrictions on firearm ownership, just not because it will necessarily reduce killings.”

    What is the reason for “reasonable” restrictions if it ISN’T increased safety and a decrease in unjustified shootings, fatal and non-fatal?

  43. paynehollow says:

    The imbalance in the potential for harm if the weaponry falls into the wrong hands vs the “right” to own unlimited weaponry spectrum.

    With a perfectly responsible, rational and well-meaning man or woman, there might SEEM to be no reason why they shouldn’t own a tank, or a landmine, missiles or even a nuclear weapon. But we can probably all agree that there should be a line nonetheless that says, “NO, it is not a good idea for them to have missiles and bombs.”

    There is no compelling reason for them to own one and the potential for harm is great, so we don’t allow it.

    Regardless of where we draw the line, you probably can agree with me on this principle, yes? We can presume, too, can’t we, that you don’t have a biblical verse to support unlimited weaponry ownership, yes?

    ~Dan

  44. Vince.

    I’m not arguing in bad faith, as “assault weapon” bans DO tend to focus on aesthetics more than actual functionality. The civilian AK-47 looks like its military counterpart, but it is not a “machine gun” because it’s not an automatic rifle. It’s a semi-automatic rifle that requires you to pull the trigger for each bullet.

    It looks like a military AK-47, but in every respect that actually matters in terms of lethality — caliber, firing rate, damage it can do — it is indistinguishable from deer-hunting rifles.

  45. Dan,

    If I saw anyone being accosted violently, I would intervene. I have, in the real world, intervened in such cases. I have never had to kill anyone to stop the violence, nor did I need a gun to give me the courage to do what needed to be done.

    Not what I asked. If someone broke into your house with the intent of raping your children and wife, would you kill them IF NECESSARY? I didn’t ask if you’d be able to stop them without violence; I asked if you’d kill them, given no other choice.

    In the real world, I have walked up to a young thug beating a lady (his girlfriend, it would appear), placed myself between the man and his victim (and the young man had several of his buddies with him, too, watching the scene), and I talked him out of his violence, appealing to his friends to stand with me and do the right thing.

    You’re a hero, Dan. But again, not what I asked.

    I have never said or suggested that I believe in doing nothing in the face of violence. In the real world, I have demonstrated that this is not the case. Nor do I think it is accurate to interpret Jesus’ words to be encouraging passivism (ie, doing nothing). I don’t believe in doing nothing, I believe in overcoming evil with good, right, reasonable actions.

    I see. So, it’s okay to be violent in Jesus’ eyes when necessary, just not with a gun…Yeah. Makes perfect sense.

  46. Dan, you’re going from Bible verses about swords to hypotheticals about missles, bombs, and nuclear weapons. How’s about we talk about firearms?

    You wrote, “I also think that we can reasonably place some restrictions on firearm ownership, just not because it will necessarily reduce killings.”

    What is the reason for these supposedly reasonable “restrictions on firearm ownership” (your words) if they won’t necessarily reduce crimes or accidental injuries?

    (To say that “there’s no compelling reason” for a person to own a particular weapon puts the onus on him to justify his exercising his economic rights, but freedom needs no such justification: what must be justified ISN’T the individual’s behavior, but the state’s attempts to limit that behavior.)

    You invoke the “potential for harm” when it comes to mass weaponry, but you already concede that gun restrictions won’t necessarily reduce that potential, SO WHY HAVE THEM?

  47. …and, Dan, I would like to see your rationale for why the Bible’s teaching regarding swords extends to firearms, seeing that you don’t think its teaching regarding homosexual activity has much relevance for this modern world.

  48. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    If someone broke into your house with the intent of raping your children and wife, would you kill them IF NECESSARY?

    We can create ALL sorts of imaginary options of what MIGHT be conceivable, Terrance. For instance, what if someone was prepared to do harm to a child and the ONLY WAY you could stop them would be to rape another child! Would you do it???!!! Breathless imaginary what-ifs are of limited use to me.

    Would I rape a child to save another child IF IT WAS THE ONLY WAY? Probably not. Would I drop a bomb on a city to save another city if it was THE ONLY WAY? Probably not. Would I shoot a crazed intruder IF IT WAS THE ONLY WAY? Maybe so.

    But rarely are we faced with “It’s the ONLY WAY” scenarios in the real world.

    In the real world, I support rational, non-violent means of dealing with violent situations as I think they are the most effective, most likely to succeed and most conducive to civilized society. Plus, as a follower of Jesus, I think it keeps me closest to his teachings.

    Bubba, I answered your question: The balance of potential harm vs the need for the weapon is why have the limitations.

    Why do YOU support limitations?

    ~Dan

    • Funny how dan chides Terrance for creating ‘wild hypotheticals’ yet offers the ‘wild hypothetical’ of private citizens wanting to own nuclear bombs and missles. Good Ol’ Dan

  49. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    I would like to see your rationale for why the Bible’s teaching regarding swords extends to firearms, seeing that you don’t think its teaching regarding homosexual activity has much relevance for this modern world.

    You misunderstand my position. I do NOT think that the Bible’s teachings for homosexual activity does not have relevance in the modern world. I think human interpretations that say even a loving, committed marriage relationship for gays is wrong based on a few verses in the Bible come from misinterpretations (in my opinion), not rational or biblical opinion.

    On the other hand, I think Jesus’ teachings are about violence in general, not the specific weapon. I think Jesus’ teachings are about trusting in God and the Way Jesus taught, not on weapons. Thus, it doesn’t matter what the weapon in question is, the point is the Way Jesus taught.

    Also, I do not advocate public policy based on my belief about what Jesus taught, but on simple rational arguments based on evidence and reason, not religious opinion.

    ~Dan

  50. paynehollow says:

    John…

    yet offers the ‘wild hypothetical’ of private citizens wanting to own nuclear bombs and missles. Good Ol’ Dan

    I’m establishing that we almost certainly agree on the PRINCIPLE, by using larger examples. We AGREE (I would hope) that some limits are appropriate. The question is not whether there should be limitations, but what are reasonable limitations.

    Right?

    On the other hand, if Terrance is seeking to establish a principle, what is it? That AT SOME POINT, we will think it right to do ANYTHING, even horrible things? Okay, yes, there may come that point. But I don’t think that is rational to base policy or ethics upon what if scenarios.

    ~Dan

  51. Trabue and his scripture twisting appears on almost every article you write, John.

    Nothing Jesus ever taught precluded self defense. NOTHING. Context of Jesus giving his life for salvation of sinners, and the disciples being threatened with their lives for defending the faith, have nothing whatsoever to do with protecting oneself and family against bad guys. Jesus even told them to buy swords for defense as he sent them out, although Trabue loves to twist that passage beyond recognition, as we have seen displayed on this site too many times to count.

    Walking in dangerous neighborhoods with ”a calm demeanor, a loving and peaceable attitude, blah, blah, blah is totally insane. How many times have you done that in Chicago, or New York, or Detroit? Many, many, many innocent people are killed daily in those places for doing nothing but walking where they don’t belong. Read the papers once in a while and quit saying such foolish things.

    “Assault rifles” are anything and everything that is scary looking to a government official. A Ruger Mini-14 can take a 30-round magazine, is semi-automatic, and fires a .223 bullet and yet is not called an “assault rifle.” However, an AR-15 with a 30 round magazine, which is semi-automatic and fires a .223 bullet IS considered an “assault rifle.” THAT is the insanity of the gun-grabbers.

    Let’s see, over the years I have owned a .44 magnum Ruger semi-automatic carbine, a .30 cal. semi-automatic carbine with 20-round magazine, a .30-06 Springfield 1903 Rifle (WWI GI issue), a Mini-14, a .444 Marlin lever-action rifle, a .22 cal long rifle AR-7 survival rifle (for my survival kit while flying), and currently a .30-30 Marlin lever-action rifle. Guess what – I never used them for anything except target practice!!!! I just like those kind of rifles. A friend who had a license for automatic weapons let me fire his Thompson .45ACP sub-machine gun, and it was a blast!! And yet some anti-gunner would say half of these rifles were unnecessary because they are scary-looking.

    The Constitution never limits what type of firearms citizens can own. You don’t punish the law-abiding citizens by taking away their guns just because there are nuts out there who will always have guns and are the real threat.

    I just love how people assume Jesus would have been against guns all because they put THEIR beliefs on to Jesus. The weapons of the day were swords, not guns. And spears, not guns. And arrows, not guns. Jesus never mentioned that use of any weapons was wrong except in the case where hot-head Peter was going to defend Christ. And yet the same Christ told them to buy swords for defense as they set out on their mission. But liberal, pacifists who think one should just stand by and watch his wife and daughters be raped rather than blow the rapist away, mangle the passage, claim it is spiritual, or symbolic, or metaphoric, and just about anything else rather than accepting what it says.

    Of course it doesn’t matter to all these cowardly pacifists who let others defend their freedom and die doing so, they just tell them how horrible it is to use violence. Oh, wait, God had Israel fight all sorts of wars to eliminate the bad guys, and God gives the governments the DUTY to fight the bad guys.

    I wonder why Jesus didn’t rebuke the soldiers for being soldiers in Matt. 8:5-13 or Luke 3:14 and 22:36? In Acts 10, I wonder why Peter never told the soldier to leave the army? Tsk, Tsk.

    And by the way, self-defense is NOT “living by the sword.” Muslims live by the sword, Christians to not.

    Peter’s discussion about suffering for doing good has to do with Christian persecution, not defending one’s self and family by bad guys. Fighting against the government just because you don’t want to give up your guns would be a wrong action, but if the government wanted to send you and your family to be used in every way possible before exterminating you, then defending against that so as to escape to another country would be proper use of defense.

    Vince, your whole argument is based on your feelings, not what the Bible permits. There is no where in Scripture where you will find self-defense against the bad guys decried. There is just as moral of a reason to own an “assault rifle” as for any other gun. A good marksman can fire 20 well-aimed shots with 5-round magazines as fast as any one else can with an AR-15. I’ve seen it. These stupid laws limiting semi-automatic pistols to 5 or 7 rounds are stupid when a guy with a revolver can carry six and fire just as quickly. I can have a .45 ACP with a 7-round magazine, with an extra magazine on my hip and go up against a guy with a .357 revolver with a speed loader and we will put out the same amount of lead in the same time frame but I would have two more bullets – whoop de whoop. You are buying into the brainwashing by those who have no clue about guns. Take away a bad guy’s AR-15 (which you never will) and he will just show up with a semi-auto shotgun or two. restrict the bad guy to 5 round and he’ll bring several guns with 5 rounds in each and do just as much damage. Bad guys have no problem getting what they want, so why make laws forcing law abiding citizens to be defenseless?

    And, no, owning an assault weapon is not “clearly to kill.” I enjoyed shooting up targets, testing my skill, etc. And most people who buy them like the aesthetic appeal of that type of weapon. Remember my example of a Mini-14 vs an AR-15? I don’t like the looks of the AR-15 (I thought the M-16 I carried in the Army was stupid looking, like a toy) but I loved my Mini-14. Making judgments about motives for owning such guns is not your right.

    Oh, then Trabue says the stuff Terrance brought up were O.T. laws and not for N.T. people. BALDERDASH. These were general rules, general principles – you know, like that other one Trabue hates so much – the one which says homosexual behavior is an abomination to God. Trabue never met a Scripture passage that he couldn’t twist to his perverted worldview.

    Trabue daily makes God endorse HIS political position of same-sex fake marriage, and yet he has the audacity to accuse us of that!!!!

    This comment became much too long, but I just can’t stand that troll abusing Scripture and taking every blog post off topic.

  52. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Funny how dan chides Terrance for creating ‘wild hypotheticals’ yet offers the ‘wild hypothetical’ of private citizens wanting to own nuclear bombs and missles.

    Consider it as a continuum. People can do harm to others with a knife. No one wants to ban knives.

    People can do harm with a bb gun. No one (extremely few – maybe someone wants to ban them, but I’ve never heard of it) wants to ban bb guns.

    People can do harm with a hammer. No one wants to ban hammers.

    People can do more harm and easily kill a human with a hunting rifle. Very few want to ban hunting rifles, but many think some registration is appropriate.

    People can do harm and easily kill a human being with a car. Very few want to ban cars, but many think some registration and age limits are appropriate.

    People can do harm and kill with dynamite. Very few want to ban dynamite outright, but most of us think that its use and purchase should be regulated for appropriate use only.

    People can harm and kill with a missile. Many of us (most of us) think regulation and limits are appropriate on missiles.

    It’s a continuum of free access to limited access to no access based on need of the tool/weapon and potential harm.

    This to me seems to be a reasonable notion of access to potentially dangerous items. Do you disagree on the principle (even if we might disagree on where the lines exist)? If so, why?

    ~Dan

    • Knives are regulated and banned. In my state, spring loaded blades and knives with more than 4″ of cutting edge are illegal. I guess theyre assault knives.

      Bb guns are not primarily weapons even though they are shaped like one. They are target guns.

      Hammers are not primarily weapons even though they can be used as one.

      Your bringing these up make my point, and others who notice that the danger of an item is not the primary consideration of whether its regulated. A hammer is arguably more deadly and dangerous in the hands of a person bent on harm than a police baton. In my state carrying a police baton if you arent law enforcement certified in its training is a felony. But anyone can carry a hammer.

      It seems that laws prohibiting batons but not hammers is an admission that its purely based on impression and not potential dammage.

  53. Dan, it is striking, how you draw this extensive ethics of non-violence from the New Testament, even when Jesus forbade retaliation in general not violent retaliation specifically, when His closest followers evidently carried swords three years into His ministry, when neither Christ nor the Apostles insisted that soldiers renounce their day jobs, and when one Apostle even affirmed that the state is a divine institution that doesn’t bear the sword in vain.

    On the other hand, Christ taught that, from the beginning God made us male and female and said, therefore, that a man will become one flesh with his wife. Does that tell you anything about why God made you male? NOPE.

    Again, striking.

    About your “balance,” it seems that, on one side of the scales you just have the mere lethality of the weapon — THAT’S what you mean by “potential for harm,” not anything like actual crime statistics about people being murdered.

    On the other side, you mention “rights” — WHICH YOU PUT IN SCARE QUOTES — or the “need” to own a weapon, but you then argue that there is no such need. Non-violence is more effective, and lethal violence is never necessary in the real world, and to suggest otherwise is to introduce “breathless imaginary what-ifs.”

    Your set of scales has weights only one side. It’s really no wonder why people like me think you wrap an extreme position in very moderate rhetoric.

  54. paynehollow says:

    I’m unclear on any of your all’s comments. Do we NOT agree that regulating dangerous items is, at some point, reasonable?

    Isn’t the question not IF we should regulate some items, but where we draw the line?

    I can’t imagine that we are not agreeing on the principle involved here. Once we establish that, then it becomes a matter of talking about where we draw lines, but agreeing on a principle seems like a rational first step.

    There seems to be much gnashing of teeth on a point that I don’t know that we really disagree all that much.

    Where do you all draw lines? I’d be interested in knowing that.

    ~Dan

  55. Dan,

    We can create ALL sorts of imaginary options of what MIGHT be conceivable, Terrance. For instance, what if someone was prepared to do harm to a child and the ONLY WAY you could stop them would be to rape another child! Would you do it???!!! Breathless imaginary what-ifs are of limited use to me.

    You’re being idiotic and refusing to answer the question because answering “yes” means you’re a hypocrite and answering “no” just means you’re a dirtbag. You’re between a rock and a hard-place, but such is the cost of running one’s mouth too often.

    In the real world, people are faced with similar threats daily. The smartest one’s take action to defend themselves and their families. They don’t sit around and ruminate on possible non-violent solutions like some 21st Gandhi. They react! They save themselves and their families from the evil intentions of others, and sometimes they do it with violence. Are you going to sit there and accuse them of sin?

    John,

    Funny how dan chides Terrance for creating ‘wild hypotheticals’ yet offers the ‘wild hypothetical’ of private citizens wanting to own nuclear bombs and missles. Good Ol’ Dan

    Dan’s a bloviating hypocrite of the highest order.

    Dan,

    On the other hand, if Terrance is seeking to establish a principle, what is it? That AT SOME POINT, we will think it right to do ANYTHING, even horrible things? Okay, yes, there may come that point. But I don’t think that is rational to base policy or ethics upon what if scenarios.

    I’m not trying to establish any principle. I’m merely responding to the utterly asinine suggestion that Jesus’ words somehow prohibit self-defense. That whole “live by the sword, die by the sword” stuff you were peddling a few posts up.

  56. paynehollow says:

    The question you asked me was not about self defense, but about stopping a madman from killing another. I stated clearly that I would take steps to stop the killer. IF the only way to do it was by killing, I affirmed that is likely the option I would take. The problem is, it’s an imaginary nothing.

    In the real world, I have intervened more than once in a violent situation and never had to kill or maim anyone. So, while you’re dreaming up imaginary circumstances, I’m telling you what I’ve done in the real world. Which is more compelling?

    And why not deal with the principle? What would YOU do to save a life? Would you torture someone to save another’s life? Rape someone? What principles do you have in dealing with violence? These are good questions to consider and meditate upon, brother.

    My principles are do no harm, and allow no harm to be done to innocents. Having dealt with violent situations, having been trained in dealing with violent situations, I know that in the real world, having to resort to physical violence is a last ditch effort of someone who has failed to deal with a problem in other ways. Which is not to fault anyone. Sometimes it happens, it’s not a perfect world, we are not perfect people and the situations we encounter are not perfect.

    Nonetheless, I believe that principles are good things to establish and strive to live by, even if imperfectly.

    I see nothing hypocritical in holding on to the ideals that Jesus clearly taught – at least as I understand them, nor do I find it compelling to say “Jesus supports my opinion…” when you have nothing to support it other than the absence of Jesus saying it was not okay. Arguing from silence and all that.

    AGAIN, if you all want to make your case for relying upon Guns for your self defense, make it. Just don’t say your position is Jesus’ position. Seriously, what is unreasonable about that?

    ~Dan

    • Just don’t say your position is Jesus’ position. Seriously, what is unreasonable about that?

      But Trabue, that is EXACTLY what YOU are doing – and not just here, but also in regards to same-sex fake marriage. Hypocrite!

  57. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    it is striking, how you draw this extensive ethics of non-violence from the New Testament, even when Jesus forbade retaliation in general not violent retaliation specifically, when His closest followers evidently carried swords three years into His ministry

    As I’m quite sure you know, this idea that Jesus was/is a peaceable man, a teacher of peace over violence, is not new with me. What is striking to me is how hard the pushback is over noting what is textually obvious even to the casual reader of the New Testament and words of Jesus. The world over recognizes Jesus peacemaking teachings with, it seems, the exception of the Religious Right.

    This is also odd coming from those who insist so hard on taking the “obvious” teachings on other, less clear, more obscure topics… but on THIS topic – taught clearly and repeatedly and consistently by Jesus and his followers – the “obvious” is not good enough.

    You are free to interpret Jesus how you want. I’m just noting that you’d be better off just making your case on this point without trying to invoke Jesus to your defense, because it actually undermines your case. People “get” the notion of self defense, even if it involves violence. What they don’t get is the suggestion that Jesus endorses violent self defense when it simply is not in his teachings.

    ~Dan

  58. Dan,

    The question you asked me was not about self defense, but about stopping a madman from killing another. I stated clearly that I would take steps to stop the killer. IF the only way to do it was by killing, I affirmed that is likely the option I would take. The problem is, it’s an imaginary nothing.

    My question was in the context of someone breaking into your house to harm you and your family. And you know damn well that situations like this present themselves to people every single day. It’s a real concern in the modern world.

    In the real world, I have intervened more than once in a violent situation and never had to kill or maim anyone. So, while you’re dreaming up imaginary circumstances, I’m telling you what I’ve done in the real world. Which is more compelling?

    And in the real-world, people are presented with life and death situations like I described every single day. I don’t care about your little anecdotes. I’m asking if you think people who defend themselves with violence are sinners. Are you claiming that Jesus’ words prohibit self-defense in this way?

    My principles are do no harm, and allow no harm to be done to innocents. Having dealt with violent situations, having been trained in dealing with violent situations, I know that in the real world, having to resort to physical violence is a last ditch effort of someone who has failed to deal with a problem in other ways. Which is not to fault anyone. Sometimes it happens, it’s not a perfect world, we are not perfect people and the situations we encounter are not perfect.

    I see. So, the guy who shot two people breaking into his house, armed with .38 caliber pistols, failed to deal with the problem…No, I’d say he dealt with the problem rather intelligently. He didn’t take any chances with his or his family’s safety. He didn’t give the criminals time to aim their gun and shoot him in the face, which is precisely what at least one of them probably would have done since he was wanted for murder down in Detroit.

    And if you haven’t caught on, this isn’t a hypothetical; it happened about 10 miles from my house a few years back.

    Lastly, Trabue, I never claimed to speak for Christ. You certainly did, however. In fact, you do it quite often. The way you tell it, God is cool with same-sex marriage, abortion, and all sorts of leftwing ideals. How convenient it must be to have a God who believes EXACTLY as you do, Trabue.

    Now, why not yet more obfuscation and end-arounds from good ‘ol Danny boy.

  59. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    I don’t care about your little anecdotes.

    You asked an imaginary question about what I would do if I were IN that situation. I told you a real life story about how I DID deal with it when I was in that situation. In the real world, we almost always have more options than kill or let someone else be killed.

    Terrance…

    I’m asking if you think people who defend themselves with violence are sinners. Are you claiming that Jesus’ words prohibit self-defense in this way?

    I never said that people who defend themselves are sinners. I never said that Jesus’ words prohibit self defense. Look at my words, Terrance. What I said was that Jesus does NOT endorse deadly self defense. When he (and his disciples) were in those real life situations, they opted for NOT using deadly violence. Jesus taught his followers NOT to use deadly violence in self defense. In the text.

    Now, we can debate about, “Well, what IF…” and reason our way to, “Okay, maybe if someone else is being attacked, some level of force is reasonable and I don’t think Jesus would oppose it…” but that is different than suggesting that Jesus actively endorsed violent self defense. What we see in the text is Jesus teaching another way other than violent, deadly self defense.

    I’m just speaking of what is in the text, Terrance.

    You see, the difference (one difference) between more fundamentalist/conservative types of Christians and progressive/conservative types of Christians is that we don’t judge others for what they do in difficult situations. We don’t try to take the words of Jesus and make them into harsh and literal rulings and laws. We tend to talk about principles.

    And the principle that Jesus and his disciples repeatedly leaned on was NOT to overcome evil with more violence, NOT to fight violence with violence, not to kill our enemies… but rather to love our enemies, to overcome evil with good, to shame folk for oppressive violent behavior by OUR kind and gentle (but not passive) behavior. As the OT teaches and the Gospels reinforce, a soft answer turneth away wrath. It is difficult to be cruel to someone who only responds with love, forgiveness and grace. These are the sorts of principles that are taught consistently in the NT (and pretty consistently in the OT, if you’re reading it aright, I think) and why I was simply asking that you not assign Jesus some Religious/Political Right agenda when you speak about your opinions on self defense, just make your case without pointing to Jesus as being in your corner on this topic. The very best you can argue is that Jesus is silent (although that is a stretch) when it comes to violence towards others when done in self defense. Just make your point without saying Jesus agrees with you.

    Is that not reasonable?

    ~Dan

  60. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    if you haven’t caught on, this isn’t a hypothetical; it happened about 10 miles from my house a few years back.

    Brother Terrance, on my block, there have been 2 murders in the last two years. Within four blocks, we have had multiple murders and other assaults and shootings. This is not hypothetical, either. Nor are the real life instances in my own and my wife’s own lives (and other folk within our church) who have successfully (more or less) dealt with violence without once needing a gun for “self defense…”

    I fully recognize that there are thugs and violent people in the world. I fully recognize that there are NO fool proof methods for stopping violence, guns included. I am just saying that I find Jesus’ teachings to be about overcoming evil with good, with kindness, with soft answers, with respect, with a firm commitment to the commonwealth of all involved.

    When it comes to most of us anabaptists (like the parents in the Amish schoolhouse shooting a few years back) and other peacemaking followers of Jesus, we just believe that what Jesus seems to be teaching is a path of non-violence, and that those are the steps we are to follow in, and by God’s grace, that is what we are striving to do.

    I hold no judgments on others who feel they have needed to take a different path. I’m just asking that you don’t suggest Jesus is endorsing it. If you’re not, very good, that’s all I’m saying.

    Terrance…

    Lastly, Trabue, I never claimed to speak for Christ. You certainly did, however. In fact, you do it quite often. The way you tell it, God is cool with same-sex marriage, abortion, and all sorts of leftwing ideals.

    No, I strive to make it abundantly clear that my opinions are MY opinions. I do not speak for God, nor for Jesus. Further, I have always made it quite clear that my opinions, being human, are fallible and prone to error.

    All I’m doing here is asking for the same respect on your side. Fair enough?

    ~Dan

  61. Dan:

    The first principle is NOT the propriety of the government’s restricting individual rights: first MUST come the affirmation of those individual rights.

    Without a true commitment to, say, the right to free speech and self expression, big-city mayors would be tempted to the powers of their office to threaten restaurateurs who dared to express opinions contrary to them.

    Or without a true commitment to the right to the fruits of one’s own labor, even famously capitalist politicians would be tempted to lecture people that, at some point, they’ve made enough money — and self-styled moderates would be unable to denounce as immoral any tax rate except for those that precluded even a subsistence living.

    Since the pettiest of tyrants believe in the need to restrict and regulate the individual, that principle is insufficient as a starting point, and it’s dangerous to shake hands and agree on this as a starting point without a prior commitment to freedom.

    The real first principle is the right to self-defense.

    The individual has the right to defend himself, his family, and his property; to use even violent force in the face of a violent threat; and to use even lethal violence in the face of a threat that he perceives to be lethal or even potentially lethal. To that end, the individual has the right to own weapons, including lethal weapons.

    Can we all agree on this principle?

    What is striking to me is how hard the pushback is over noting what is textually obvious even to the casual reader of the New Testament and words of Jesus.

    Jesus said, “this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins,” yet you deny BOTH the causal connection between His death and our forgiveness AND the claim that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ and wasn’t just an early church tradition.

    You’re in no position to lecture anyone about what’s obvious about what Jesus taught.

    And to your point, Jesus and the Apostles did NOT teach strict pacifism, and we’ve already alluded to quite a few passages that undercut the claim.

    In Matthew 5, Jesus taught non-retaliation, not non-violence. In Romans 13, Paul affirmed that the state is an agent of divine wrath that does not bear the sword in vain. And even after three years of closely following Jesus, His very closest followers did NOT find it incongruous to carry swords to Gethsemane.

    Strict non-violence is taught nowhere in the Bible, much less is it “taught clearly and repeatedly and consistently by Jesus and his followers.”

    Or if it is, list the passages where we can find these teachings.

  62. Protip: “Overcome evil with good” isn’t a clear command to non-violence, since A) it doesn’t imply that violence is inherently evil, B) the VERY NEXT passage, Paul affirms the state’s right to use force, and C) the Bible teaches that there IS a time for war, but it doesn’t teach that there’s a time for dishonesty, infidelity, or any intrinsic evil.

  63. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    The individual has the right to defend himself, his family, and his property; to use even violent force in the face of a violent threat; and to use even lethal violence in the face of a threat that he perceives to be lethal or even potentially lethal. To that end, the individual has the right to own weapons, including lethal weapons.

    Can we all agree on this principle?

    The individual has a right to defend himself and his family? Yes.

    The individual has a right to use even violent force in the face of a violent threat? Yes.

    The individual has a right to use violent force to defend his property? Not so sure. I don’t think they do, unless there is a threat of violence. Not sure where the law lands on this, but as a matter of ethics/morality, I would disagree with the notion of killing someone who was trying to take property but posing no imminent physical threat. Certainly doesn’t sound like a sound Christian teaching.

    The individual has a right to use even deadly violence in the face of what they PERCEIVE to be a threat? That is playing with a line that I would want more clearly painted. I know many people – have heard them in person – saying how they perceived a threat when “that black kid got on the bus…” People are fallible and have a sinful nature and it can be pretty easy for us to justify killing those we don’t like. It happens all the time.

    At the same time, the homeowner whose house was broken into and they seriously thought they saw a gun in their burglar’s hand? I’d be more lenient on that, even if they turned out in the heat and fear of the moment to be mistaken. I certainly wouldn’t call such a situation first degree murder, nor would the law.

    But all of this is outside of the teachings of Jesus (at least what appears evident to be the teachings of Jesus, who never once spoke in defense of self defense, and certainly not deadly self defense. Not one time.) If you want to make the argument as a rational argument that makes sense to you, that’s fine. Just don’t claim that Jesus is endorsing it.

    Do I think that Jesus considers it “sinful” if you act – even violently – in the defense of an innocent, sincerely trying to protect them from harm? No.

    Do I think it ludicrous to say that you can find in Jesus’ teachings a clause for deadly violence in SELF defense? No.

    ~Dan

  64. paynehollow says:

    Sorry, of course that very last word should have been YES.

  65. Dan,

    Brother Terrance, on my block, there have been 2 murders in the last two years. Within four blocks, we have had multiple murders and other assaults and shootings. This is not hypothetical, either. Nor are the real life instances in my own and my wife’s own lives (and other folk within our church) who have successfully (more or less) dealt with violence without once needing a gun for “self, defense…”

    So what? Honestly, what does this have to do with anything I’ve said? Wait, wait. I can do it too.

    Roughly 15 years ago, my brother’s friend, a girl, came home from Michigan State University to visit her parents. Before heading back to Lansing, she stopped at a grocery store to pick up some items for her father. Before going in, she was kidnapped by two young punks.

    They took her to a remote location where they raped and beat her repeatedly. After satisfying themselves sexually, they decided to humiliate and maim her even more. So they cut off her breasts, strapped her to the hood of their car, and rode around their neighborhood (filled with similar low-lives) with her as a hood ornament. Eventually, they finished her off and dumped her in a ditch…

    So as you see, things don’t always end so swimmingly for the victim of a crime.

    Regardless, I said nothing about guns. I asked if it was a sin to defend yourself with violence if the situation called for it, and this question has gone unanswered for several posts now…

    I fully recognize that there are thugs and violent people in the world. I fully recognize that there are NO fool proof methods for stopping violence, guns included. I am just saying that I find Jesus’ teachings to be about overcoming evil with good, with kindness, with soft answers, with respect, with a firm commitment to the commonwealth of all involved.

    You still haven’t answered my question.

    When it comes to most of us anabaptists (like the parents in the Amish schoolhouse shooting a few years back) and other peacemaking followers of Jesus, we just believe that what Jesus seems to be teaching is a path of non-violence, and that those are the steps we are to follow in, and by God’s grace, that is what we are striving to do.

    You still haven’t answered my question.

    I hold no judgments on others who feel they have needed to take a different path. I’m just asking that you don’t suggest Jesus is endorsing it. If you’re not, very good, that’s all I’m saying.

    I didn’t suggest anything. You and Vince suggested that self-defense is sinful. In fact, you two actually twisted Scipture to support this bogus claim. But recognizing the possibility I misunderstood, I have asked several times now whether you believe it is a sin to defend oneself with violence if no other alternative is available at the time. You’ve refused to answer.

    No, I strive to make it abundantly clear that my opinions are MY opinions.

    No, you don’t, and this thread is proof.

    Lastly, I have no respect for people like you, Dan. I don’t care that you’re a liberal. I don’t care that you disagree with me. I care that you are intellectually dishonest, that you troll, and purposely inflame the conversation to get your rocks off. If it were up to me, you’d be gone.

  66. “It is difficult to be cruel to someone who only responds with love, forgiveness and grace.”

    This has been dis-proven throughout human history with such regularity that it might actually be a pastime. It was certainly dis-proven throughout the early days of Christianity.

    I am not moved by Dan’s anecdotal offerings of his interventions. They do not match the hypothetical example Terrance posed as a “what if?”. What’s more, we can’t know the exact circumstances, the people involved for example, to ascertain just how deadly were the intentions of the perpetrators thwarted by Dan’s heroics. For some evil doers, the mere presence of one who publicly says, “Stop!” is all that is enough to put a halt to their actions. Not all thugs are as bad as they like to put on. But they will be as bad as they feel if there is no push back of any kind. It really depends upon the level of will of either party—the thug and the resistor. If the will of the thug is not that strong, any resistance to his actions will suffice. If the will of the thug is great, no resistance will stop him from fulfilling his intentions. One can be as “kumbaya” as one likes, even be fully trained and practiced in kumbaya conflict resolution and a strong willed bad-ass with nastiness on his mind will require violent resistance to subdue him. It’s just the way life is. Dan should count his blessings that he hasn’t had opportunity to test his just war theories on such people.

    I think it is a bad idea, Dan, for you to continue to use expressions such as “we anabaptists”. I know you are keen on hyping this belief system, but based on years of experience with you, and your penchant for poor understanding, you aren’t doing other anabaptists any favors by suggesting they are like you in any way. For example, I think you have a very superficial notion of what constitutes “evil”. Violence is not evil, though evil often manifests in violence. It is violent for a murderer to shoot a person. It is violent for a cop to shoot the murderer. The former act is evil. The latter act is not.

    You asked about limitations, and I have already offered my opinion: No law peaceful law-abiding person should be denied access to ANY weapon. Restricting access to weapons you believe are proper to restrict puts your opinion in the way of the liberties of others to appease YOUR concerns. They do so by insisting others are guilty before being proved innocent, of being incapable of responsible ownership of weapons you don’t like. While restricting convicted felons and the mentally ill have real logic behind it, restricting people you don’t know “just in case” is arrogant, presumptuous and outside your rights. Far better would be to move against those who have abused their liberties, just as was intended from the beginning. I also think this is Biblical in its soundness. The world is an evil place. But I don’t think we are acting in accordance with Scripture in assuming each of our fellow citizens are a reason.

  67. @Vince, if he is still peeking in:

    “In case anyone missed this — I’m an atheist precisely because I have studied my bible for decades, and finally had to concede that the God of the OT is a monster. I was left with the message of peace from Christ — that I continue to question for it’s sincerity (especially when I read Revelation).”

    Obviously you hadn’t studied very well to come away with your conclusion. But more importantly, your comment implies quite distinctly that you decided to no longer believe God exists because you didn’t like the God about whom you were studying. Have you ever studied anything about Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, John Wayne Gacy, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot or anyone like any of these people? If so, I must assume you weren’t keen on their actions, either. Thus, have you decided to no longer believe that they existed? To pretend God doesn’t exist simply because you don’t like what has been revealed about Him reeks of petulance to say the least. Worse, it is the wrong move. The better move would have been to try and resolve those questions you obviously still have. To that end, you might want to pick up Paul Copan’s Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God. I haven’t read it myself, but it addresses your concerns and might provide a reason to rethink your position.

    I think it is a problem when some insist that God must be a hippy flower child in order to be a legitimate Creator of All Things worthy of worship. He cannot be a just God that way.

    As to assault weapons, and I include fully automatic weapons here, there is no real disconnect between a man of peace and his desire to protect himself and his own. Once again, it may indeed be noble and commendable before God for you to take one in the forehead rather than put one in your assailant’s head. I would not disagree. I do, however, don’t think one is held as evil for defending one’s self with deadly force. There is just no precedent in Scripture for this belief. The type of weapon one uses to accomplish this is completely irrelevant. How one chooses to defend one’s self is based on personal notions of what is required to do so. How many who might own an assault weapon would choose that particular weapon for self-defense would likely feel that was the appropriate weapon for the specific circumstances at the time. For example, the LA riots after the Rodney King affair was a time when store owners who possessed rifles some would outlaw found their choice was a good one. Imagine two separate store owners, each with a different means of defending their stores. One waits for the cops. The other has a fully auto weapon that is loud and sprays bullets all over. Which store would YOU loot?

    Not too many riots, for sure. But the 2nd Amendment’s purpose was to act as a reminder to the government that the people are not to be oppressed. Would the gov’t be worried about oppressing an unarmed or poorly armed population? Would they be worried about a well armed population? The latter is likely. But here’s the key point. YOU don’t have to own one. And if you are aware of someone who does and abuses his liberty, putting others in danger, call a cop and deal with it.

    • I think it would be accurate to God’s view on self defense is much like his view on divorce. He may rather you be passive and take the beating, but you are guiltless if you defend yourself or another with violent or deadly force if the situation warrants.

      God would rather you stay married even if there is infidelity, but you would be guiltless if you divorced for that reason.

  68. Your last comment, Marshall, is outstanding.

  69. paynehollow says:

    Terrance…

    You and Vince suggested that self-defense is sinful.

    Where? Where I said “Do I think that Jesus considers it “sinful” if you act – even violently – in the defense of an innocent, sincerely trying to protect them from harm? No.“…?

    I never suggested that self-defense is sinful. I suggested that you can’t pin self-defense on Jesus’ teachings, especially and specifically because his teachings are sort of the OPPOSITE of self-defense.

    Here, I think, is where you are having a problem: Some of us can read Jesus’ obvious words, come to a conclusion and think, “HERE is the ideal for my life… right here in Jesus’ teachings… they may be difficult, but by God’s grace, this is what I shall strive to do…” and yet, at the same time, we do not judge others as “sinful” who disagree with us. This is OUR conclusion for how WE should live our lives.

    I think perhaps this is one of the differences between the more progressive and more fundamentalist mindset (and I say “fundamentalist” on purpose, because I don’t think all conservatives insist on the My Way or the Highway approach).

    Again, just look at my actual words and draw conclusions based on what I have said, not on what you are interpreting me to mean.

    ~Dan

    • Dan, you seem to be talking out both sides of your mouth. On one hand you say you think it would be ok to use violence to defend yourself. And then on the other you say Jesus would consider it sinful to do so. How should we understand your position?

  70. “…I don’t think all conservatives insist on the My Way or the Highway approach”

    It’s not the least bit common to find any who take that approach. You will find those who take a God’s Way or the highway approach. Yet even here, such people are usually just responding to those like yourself who so easily distort clear teachings. Then, people like yourself will accuse such people of “speaking for God” or insisting one does things “their way”.

  71. Dan:

    I appreciate your affirming the right to defend yourself.

    Note, however, that the minimalist principle I outlined involved using violence in the face of violent threats, not necessarily threats to one’s property. About the risk of fallible humans miscalculating the threats they perceive to be lethal, well, I believe that people have the right to make such mistakes, AT LEAST to the degree that other people’s right to free expression doesn’t involve such stupid actions as walking up behind a stranger, poking your finger in his back, and saying, “Give me all your money.” At least in such a circumstance, if the stranger subsequently kills you despite your not actually having a gun, I think they law absolutely should take his side over yours.

    But you stopped short at affirming or even acknowledging the right that is the most relevant to this discussion: To that end, the individual has the right to own weapons, including lethal weapons.

    I don’t see the value in affirming the state’s duty to restrict the ownership of weapons unless we can first agree that the individual has the right to own weapons, including lethal weapons.

    Dan, you write, “all of this is outside of the teachings of Jesus.”

    If you want to make the argument as a rational argument that makes sense to you, that’s fine. Just don’t claim that Jesus is endorsing it.

    1) I haven’t made that claim.

    2) I don’t need to make that claim, even as an inerrantist: “Everything the Bible affirms is true” is NOT equivalent to saying, “Everything true is affirmed by the Bible.”

    Even inerrantists consult the Yellow Pages to find a plumber and read their owner’s manual to troubleshoot their cars.

    3) I don’t see where you’re arguing that Jesus taught that the government should restrict the ownership of weapons.

    So what’s your point?

  72. BTW, I’ve been thinking a bit about that new Tom Hanks movie, Captain Phillips. It’s a period piece, about pirates on the high seas taking control of an American merchant ship and holding the crew hostage.

    It’s based on actual events from waaay back in 2009.

    Despite its setting in the remote and nearly forgotten past, it does raise in my mind the thought that the crewmen could have easily repelled the pirates with even moderate firepower.

    Piracy has become quite rare, primarily because the U.S. Navy has taken over the British Empire’s goal of securing the oceans to facilitate safe travel and free trade. I wonder, if we drastically reduce the military as some people would recommend, would piracy become even less frequent, or would it likely increase?

    Would merchant ships be more able to rely on our military, or would they be smart to arm themselves?

  73. Why did Jesus say, “Then said He unto them, “But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it and likewise his pack; and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” Luke 22:36? The Roman short sword was the assault weapon of the Roman centurion. Why would Jesus tell a disciple to sell his warm clothing (cloak) and to buy an assault weapon?

  74. And at 38, “And they said, “Lord, behold, here are two swords.” And He said unto them, “It is enough.” Seems to me he wanted his disciples armed so they could defend themselves against the highway robbers they might meet on their journey…

    • XD Owner,

      You just don’t understand the correct interpretation of those passages. Jesus was speaking symbolically. Wait, Jesus was speaking spiritually. No, wait. Jesus was speaking metaphorically. Wait, I can’t remember other liberal, pacifist, Scripture twisting reasons that Trabue and his ilk use. But, you KNOW that THEY have the correct understanding.

  75. Where? Where I said “Do I think that Jesus considers it “sinful” if you act – even violently – in the defense of an innocent, sincerely trying to protect them from harm? No.“…?

    You’ve suggested it repeatedly in this thread.

    John asked, “Why would Jesus not support the right to defend yourself?”

    You responded, “I think the question (One question) might be: Does “defending one’s self” require guns, bombs and/or artillery?”

    You then said, “Jesus taught that we are to turn the other cheek. That we are to overcome evil with good. That we are to trust God for our defense, not weaponry. That we are to allow God to avenge, not us. Jesus taught us that those who live by the sword die by the sword. etc.”

    Anyone with at least a modicum of sense would take this diatribe as suggestion that violent self-defense is always sinful. And you certainly didn’t get that idea from Scripture, no matter how many passages you quote out of context.

    Lastly, I am reading your words, Dan. That’s the problem. That’s always the problem with you.

  76. vincedeporter says:

    Marshalart, you should read what I said, and maybe do your homework on me.
    The reason I left this conversation is because of the personal attacks and name calling here. I do not discuss strawmen and accusations of not doing MY homework.

    Let me be pithy:

    I was a sincere Christian reading and STUDYING my Bible daily.
    I left the cult of JWs, and I keep on studying (to this day) — trying to figure out what I had missed.

    It’s SOLELY on the basis of the Bible that I lost my faith.
    First, still believing in God, I was angry at him.
    Then, thru Science and other studies, I realized I was basing all my anger on a God that clearly (to me) had no evidence of existence, on the contrary.

    NOW: I never hid the fact (and even agreed with John) that my REAL conviction is not about the the non-existence of God, but of his monstrosity.
    In other words, you can rationalize all you want on his actions, I don’t give a flying crap.
    Hitler existed, so even if Yahweh PROVED his existence to me, I would rather die than bend a knee to that bastard? Okay? Are we clear?

    A god that leaves out rape and torture in his ten commandments has no sympathy for me. Heck, pedophilia is not even MENTIONED in the Bible (not even in the 600 laws from the Mosaic Law!!!)! But picking up sticks on papa’s special day — now THAT certainly deserves being stoned to death!

    I’m more than an atheist; I’m an anti-theist.
    That God exists or not is irrelevant to my morals.

  77. vincedeporter says:

    I’ve said what I wanted to say.
    Keep debating that assault weapons are okay with Christ…
    LOL!

    • Vince
      I was a sincere Christian reading and STUDYING my Bible daily. I left the cult of JWs,

      well, that’s your first problem. JWs are NOT Christian, so if you were a JW, you also were not a Christian.

      The 10Cs don’t have every specific sin listed, nor were they intended to do such.

      Laws you mention about picking up sticks, etc, were specifically and only for the theocratic nation of Israel as part of their learning full dependence upon God.

      Now, you say there is no law against rape, torture or pedophilia. Well, let’s see – since the law is that sex is only for married people, and anything other than that is wrong, then I guess rape and pedophilia is covered.

      As for torture, that would depend on the context. When the need is to get information to save lives, torture is a valid procedure in my book. Torture for the fun of it would not be showing any “love your neighbor” attitudes.

      There is no monstrosity about God. The problem is those who misrepresent or don’t understand the context of the passages they use against God.

      The monstrosity is man.

  78. vincedeporter says:

    Read you Bible.
    Also I SAID that I studied my Bible AFTER leaving the JW.

    There is no rational context for 2 Kings 2:23,24, just to mention one.

    um… rape IS mentioned… but not in favor of the victim.
    Taking in virgins as spoils for use is also mentioned. All sanctioned by your god.

    • Vince,

      Studying the Bible after leaving a cult tends to be done through the cult’s worldview, including the poor exegesis learned through the cult. I have worked with ex-cult members (and am an ex-Mormon) and am experienced with this mindset being difficult to leave behind.

      You are spewing typical atheist sound bites which have been responded to ad nauseum. Even on articles on this very blog because Trabue brings up the same lies.

      What was going on in 2 Kings 2:23-24? Here’s a teaching by sound theologians:

      First of all, this was no minor offense, for these young men held God’s prophet in contempt. Since the prophet was God’s mouthpiece to His people, God Himself was being most wickedly insulted in the person of His prophet.

      Second, these were not small, innocent children. They were wicked young men, comparable to a modern street gang. Hence, the life of the prophet was endangered by their number, the nature of their sin, and their obvious disrespect for authority.

      Third, Elisha’s action was designed to strike fear in the hearts of any other such gang members. If these young gang members were not afraid to mock a venerable man of God such as Elisha, then they would have been a threat to the lives of all God’s people.
      Fourth, some commentators note that their statements were designed to challenge Elisha’s claim to be a prophet. They were essentially saying, “If you are a man of God, why don’t you go on up to heaven like Elijah did?” The term “baldhead” might be a reference to the fact that lepers shaved their heads. Such a comment would indicate that these young men looked upon Elisha as a detestable outcast.

      Fifth, it was not Elijah who took their lives, but God who alone could have providentially directed the bears to attack them. It is evident that by mocking this man of God, these young men were revealing their true attitudes toward God Himself. Such contempt for the Lord was punishable by death. The Scriptures do not say that Elisha prayed for this kind of punishment. It was clearly an act of God in judgment upon this impious gang.

      When rape is mentioned, you have to take it into consideration of the culture. Notice if a man rapes a woman who is betrothed, he is to be executed. If he rapes a virgin, he is forced to marry her and treat her as his wife, because no one would accept the woman in marriage and she would be left without support or protection in that society. Taking her as wife was humane.

      Again, “taking in virgins as spoils” is in the same vein. Men in the tribes God was exterminating were idolatrous pagans which God was clearing from the land (hey, He previously wiped out the entire earth!). Married women would be as guilty as their husbands. “virgins” would be young, because women were usually married shortly after puberty – 13-14 yrs old. Ergo, these young girls would be taken in as part of the Israeli nation to provide them with support and protection.

  79. vincedeporter says:

    Who invented the concept of killing? God.
    He created the cruel Circle of Life before he created man. Ironically, the first man to shed blood was Abel, when he killed for sacrifice. WHO gave him the idea that spilling blood was okay?

    • Vince,

      Who invented the concept of killing? God.

      Oh, did He? And just where did He do this? With sacrifices? Is that killing man? It was Cain who invented murder.

      He created the cruel Circle of Life before he created man.

      Did He? How? Death was not a part of the creation until Adam and Eve sinned.

      Ironically, the first man to shed blood was Abel, when he killed for sacrifice. WHO gave him the idea that spilling blood was okay?

      God specified that the payment for sin was blood. The animal sacrifices pointed towards the ultimate sacrifice for our sin – Jesus.

      So you have the audacity to tell the Creator how He is to decide what pays for sin?

  80. vincedeporter says:

    About the violent circle of life being created by the Biblical Creator:

    • Vince,

      About the violent circle of life being created by the Biblical Creator

      And just what is the “violent circle of life”? Remember, death was not a part of Creation – it came as a result of man’s sin.

  81. vincedeporter says:

    So I’m sorry to break it to you, but mayhem and death was NOT created by man… it was a gift from God.
    Of course, I do not believe he exists anymore — but in any case, this God of our human folklore resembles a LOT man.

    • Vince,

      So I’m sorry to break it to you, but mayhem and death was NOT created by man… it was a gift from God.

      Death was NOT a “gift from God.” It was the consequence of mankind rebelling against God when Adam & Eve sinned by eating the fruit they were not allowed to have.

      Of course, I do not believe he exists anymore — but in any case, this God of our human folklore resembles a LOT man.

      Whether or not you believe God exists doesn’t alter the FACT that He does indeed exist. God is NOTHING like man. I would suggest you read a book titled, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.” You might just change your belief system

  82. vincedeporter says:

    I realized I am drifting from the subject of this OP. ANd I apologize for it.
    I will write an article that will explain my stand a bit better, and when I do, I invite you to comment and argue. I’m busy at the moment, but I think next week I will be able to articulate my stance.

    • Vince,

      I think next week I will be able to articulate my stance

      Do you really think your stance is any different than all the other atheists’ stances? Do you really think we don’t understand you belief system?

      All you’ve done is demonstrate the same ignorance of what the Bible truly teaches as every other atheist. All you’ve shown is that you come to the Bible with a bias rather than seeking to really understand what is going on.

      • vincedeporter says:

        You obviously have not watched this video, that explains clearly that God created carnivores, hence death, before even creating man.

        Also, you define my stance as unoriginal, which is ironic since your stance is over 2,000 years old! LOL!

        • explains clearly that God created carnivores, hence death, before even creating man.

          Try reading and comprehending Gen. 1:30. They were created as vegetarians. They didn’t kill each other until death entered the world through sin.

          I didn’t need to watch the video since I know it will tell me nothing I have not previously heard from zillions of atheists and evolutionists who don’t bother accepting what the Bible ACTUALLY says.

          • Where does it say they were vegatarians? And what can you point to that there was no death before the fall?

            • Where does it say they were vegatarians? And what can you point to that there was no death before the fall?

              Gen. 1:30. Man and animals were both given only plant life and the products of plant life for food. Man was given meat after the Flood.

              Rom. 5:12 says that death entered the world through sin.

              That is what I have a discussion page for at the top of the site. Talk about whatever
              I find it easier to use e-mail.

              • Can you quote the verses, im npt near a bible.

              • Genesis 1:29-30: Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

                Gen. 9:2-4 giving man meat to eat: The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.

                Rom. 5:12: Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin…

              • Romans is speaking about death to man specifically, and genesis doesnt seem to be exclusive. Just that the green stuff is to eat. I dont see any exclusion in Genesis.

              • Every commentator I have read says that Rom. 5:12 is speaking about physical death entering the world because of sin. That prior to that there was no physical death.

                Genesis says specifically what God gave them to eat. If I say that such and such is what you are to eat, that means everything else is excluded. Why do you think the passage in chapter 9 now says that as God previously gave them plants, now He also gives them the animals. That by context demonstrates that Gen 1 was exclusive.

                Again, every commentator I’ve ever read says the same thing. Man and animals were given the plants to eat until the Fall.

                I don’t make this stuff up. I think the Bible is quite clear.

              • I have to ask why God would create animals designed to kill and eat flesh to not allow them. Also animals whose digestive systems cant handle vegetation.

                Theres also the problem of reproduction. Some species reproduce so fast the would overcome the earth in days.

                Youre invoking a gratuitous amount of special intervention.

              • John,
                I think you need to investigate this further. I’m not invoking anything. The plain reading of scripture says they were given plants for food – and that includes roots, fruit, nuts, grain, etc. All animals can eat such stuff. And who said they were designed to eat meat? Evolutionists! Their design is perfect for eating plant products. AIG has a whole lot of information about animals eating such stuff.

                There is NO animal which reproduces in such a short time- everything has gestation periods. Even man was said to have first child AFTER the fall. We don’t know how long after creation the Fall took place. It could have been a week, a month, etc. And there is no problem with animal reproduction being quick – after all, they had the whole earth to populate! Get your Bible glasses on and leave the evolutionists’ claims behind.

                I gotta shut down. Good night

              • There are bacteria that multiply in generations by the hour.

                Spiders and snakes for example cannot survive on plants.

              • There are bacteria that multiply in generations by the hour.

                Spiders and snakes for example cannot survive on plants.

                John, you are talking about CURRENT things, which have had 6000 years to mutate. Do you or do you not accept the Word of God over so-called science?

              • I dont doubt the word of God, I doubt your understanding of these particular verses. In this case, you must presume things were different in order to make your understanding fit. However, we dont have any reason, other than your interpretation, to think spiders used to eat foliage.

              • John,

                I dont doubt the word of God, I doubt your understanding of these particular verses.

                “My” understanding is that of the average theologian, and I find it in all my commentaries.

                <In this case, you must presume things were different in order to make your understanding fit.

                No, it is YOU who have to presume something other than the simple words to make YOUR understanding fit.

                However, we dont have any reason, other than your interpretation, to think spiders used to eat foliage.

                As I noted above, spiders and insects were never considered to have the “breath of life” so they are not included in passages which refer to death and life in such context. just like plants weren’t included either.

          • vincedeporter says:

            That’s just a statement from ignorance. You admit not needing to watch the video, because you “Know”… well good luck with that. I rather do my homework and follow the truth wherever it leads me. Your idea that all animals were herbivores flies in the face of the Bible itself, and archeology — not that you care to question your bias.

  83. vincedeporter says:

    You insult my years of research. I have changed for questioning my bias. Please have some respect. I could also make the statement that you are ignorant of your Bible… but I avoid that kind of cheap shot.
    You just STATE God exists… no evidence, nothing. It’s just faith buddy. That’s all it is. God forbid you question the very entity you worship.

    • You insult my years of research.
      as if you don’t insult MY 40+ years of research?

      No one can “prove” God exists by the standards your ilk looks for, but by the same standards you can’t prove that He doesn’t exist! I can prove that God exists beyond a reasonable doubt, if you’d care to do an e-mail exchange.

      • That is what I have a discussion page for at the top of the site. Talk about whatver

      • vincedeporter says:

        I would be thrilled. You would indeed be the first to give me reasonable evidence. In fact, you are the first person to claim proof that God exist.
        You have me curious.

        • I would be thrilled. You would indeed be the first to give me reasonable evidence. In fact, you are the first person to claim proof that God exist.
          You have me curious.

          Notice I said that I could prove beyond a “reasonable doubt.” I have found too many atheists who refuse to use reason.

          jude3.gctwm@yahoo.com

  84. vincedeporter says:

    God id NOT a fact.

    fact
    fakt/Submit
    noun
    1.
    a thing that is indisputably the case.

  85. vincedeporter says:

    Oh it seems that my answers are not linked to your comments, Glenn. Sorry about that. They are answered chronologically…

    Glenn, we both have seemingly researched for ± 40 years. We have come to different conclusions, obviously — although I could still change my perspective if I find further reasonable and logical information. My main point being that I do not know for sure if I’m right… and I have grown to be mature enough to never claim I know something for sure, as if there was nothing more to discover.

    We should concentrate on what we have in common.

    I wish you would not dismiss my arguments though, nor the links I research for you.
    It saddens me that you refuse to even look, because it says more about you than the argument. Romains 5:2 states that death come to humans, not animals… who do not sin. This makes sense because in Genesis 1:24,25 it makes a clear distinction between the herbivores and the carnivores. How so?
    In both verses it makes a distinction between livestock and “beasts of the earth”. THat later expression is translated from the word “chayah” — word that is referenced over 120 times in almost 100 verses. Most of those verses are referencing “carnivores.” (For example in Genesis 37:20…) Few of those scriptures have no precision on carnivorous animals, but NEVER use this word for domestic animals.

    There are many more arguments that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that God created the carnivores, and that the Cycle of Life was in action before Adam came to be. Hence death was already existing before.
    Of course, archeology agrees with this also.

    Wouldn’t it behove you to check this out on your own, with an objective spirit?

    • Vince, I think that is a great analysis of the genesis passages as it references carnivorous animals vs live stock. And the romans passage is undoubtedly referring to human death. I affirm that human death was not made possible until the fall, i.e., Adam and Eve wojld have lived forever had they not sinned.

      The view that no death came until the fall is untenable. It requires too many special interventions and an invocation of Occam’s Razor is a proper response.

      • John,

        I think that is a great analysis of the genesis passages as it references carnivorous animals vs live stock.

        On what basis? The passage makes no difference, as I pointed out to Vince. You can’t just decide for yourself that you want death to be there for some things and not for others. And by the way, insects, bugs, spiders, and the like, are not considered being “alive” in such contexts. The Hebrew word has to do with the “breath of life.” Birds, animals, people, and fish, all have the “breath of life” and they did NOT die prior to the fall.

        And the romans passage is undoubtedly referring to human death.

        On what basis do you make that assertion? Does not Rom.8:22 say “all creation”? Does the Rom. 5 say “human death” entered the world or does it just say “death” entered the world? Funny, theologians say it refers to ALL death.

        The view that no death came until the fall is untenable. It requires too many special interventions and an invocation of Occam’s Razor is a proper response.

        Why? Because you say so? What “interventions” would be necessary?

    • My main point being that I do not know for sure if I’m right… and I have grown to be mature enough to never claim I know something for sure, as if there was nothing more to discover.
      I have no problem claiming that I am right about God and the fallacy of evolution. It’s as factual to me as 2+2=4
      I wish you would not dismiss my arguments though, nor the links I research for you.
      Well, the problem is that you will offer nothing new in the argument for atheism and evolutionism. I can say quite comfortably that you, as with other atheists and evolutionists, do not look carefully at arguments from the Christian side because most refuse to even consider evidence from the Bible, while making caricatures of God to knock down as straw men.
      It saddens me that you refuse to even look, because it says more about you than the argument. Romains 5:2 states that death come to humans, not animals… who do not sin.
      Rom. 5:2 says “death” entered the world. It does not say only human death. In your view, animals died buy humans didn’t until the Fall. Nowhere will you find that even hinted at. The entire world suffered as a result of sin. That’s why Rom 8:22 says the WHOLE of creation groans because of the Fall
      This makes sense because in Genesis 1:24,25 it makes a clear distinction between the herbivores and the carnivores. How so?
In both verses it makes a distinction between livestock and “beasts of the earth”. THat later expression is translated from the word “chayah” — word that is referenced over 120 times in almost 100 verses. Most of those verses are referencing “carnivores.” (For example in Genesis 37:20…) Few of those scriptures have no precision on carnivorous animals, but NEVER use this word for domestic animals.
      This is only differentiating between animals intended for domestication and all the other in Gen. 1. All other passages are after the Fall, and when you get to Gen 37 you are even talking about after the Flood when even man is given a meat diet.
      There are many more arguments that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that God created the carnivores, and that the Cycle of Life was in action before Adam came to be. Hence death was already existing before.
Of course, archeology agrees with this also.
      Your error is saying that they were created as carnivores rather than that they became that way because of the Fall. Archeology cannot say what the original creation was like.
      Wouldn’t it behove you to check this out on your own, with an objective spirit?
      Um, I’ve checked all this out with an objective mind beginning four decades ago when I became a Christian as was trying to put the evolutionist teachings I was brainwashed with, to fit someplace in the Bible. It didn’t work. And the more I studied evolution, the more I discovered that it is based on nothing more than assumptions, speculations and assertions, with on real evidence.

  86. vincedeporter says:

    //God specified that the payment for sin was blood.//

    Before Abel did his? Can you give me reference for that, because I am not away of any scripture that explains Abel’s idea of blood sacrifice.
    Remember that the original sin did not spill blood…

    • //God specified that the payment for sin was blood.//

      Before Abel did his? Can you give me reference for that, because I am not away of any scripture that explains Abel’s idea of blood sacrifice.
Remember that the original sin did not spill blood…

      Look at Gen. 3:21. God killed an animal to provide “skin” for clothing. THAT was the first animal sacrifice to cover the sin. The Bible doesn’t say how or when God declared that sacrifices were to be made, but it is apparent that this was a custom by the time Cain and Abel made their offerings.

  87. vincedeporter says:

    Sorry for the auto correct.
    *Can you give me reference for that, because I am not aware of any …

  88. vincedeporter says:

    Well Glenn… as you say on your blog, you will “certainly” never change your opinion.
    So I guess the discussion with you is closed. You claim to KNOW your book is the only right one… “knowing” is a claim that automatically discredits you in any argument.

    I also don’t have much to say to people who believe that God created the heavens and the earth “in six literal, 24-hour solar days, with man being created in the image of God on the sixth day.”

    Don’t wast your time “proving” to me God exists if all you will use is your Bible. That would be like me proving to you Little Red Riding Hood exists solely on referring to the words of Perrault.

    I feel bad for you to be honest, as you have no shame in claiming your are closed to any information that would question your beliefs. I’m just glad you are born in a Christian environment rather than an Islamist one — because bagpipes are less deadly than suicide bombs.

    May Reason bless you.

    • Well Glenn… as you say on your blog, you will “certainly” never change your opinion.
So I guess the discussion with you is closed. You claim to KNOW your book is the only right one… “knowing” is a claim that automatically discredits you in any argument.

      So if I say 2+2=4, and someone says that 2+2=5, am I close-minded because I adhere to the truth? Shouldn’t 2+2=5 be discredited?
      I also don’t have much to say to people who believe that God created the heavens and the earth “in six literal, 24-hour solar days, with man being created in the image of God on the sixth day.”

      Why, because of YOUR bias? Because some atheist came up with evolution as the answer, and yet evolution can’t be proven?

      Don’t wast your time “proving” to me God exists if all you will use is your Bible. That would be like me proving to you Little Red Riding Hood exists solely on referring to the words of Perrault.

      I won’t use the Bible to prove God exists. Don’t need to.

      I feel bad for you to be honest, as you have no shame in claiming your are closed to any information that would question your beliefs.

      So, I also have no shame at claiming 2+2=4, and am closed to any “information” trying to prove it wrong.

      I’m just glad you are born in a Christian environment rather than an Islamist one — because bagpipes are less deadly than suicide bombs.

      Ah, but that is where you are wrong! I was raised in an unbelieving home. I became a Christian at the age of 22 due to the evidence I was provided with. And you are using the PC word “Islamist” – no such thing. One is either a Muslim or they are not. If they are a Muslim the follow the teachings of Islam, which is a very, very violent belief system.

      May Reason bless you.

      God, not “reason,” blesses me. And he blessed me with the ability to reason the truth.

  89. Glenn,

    If you’re using the cited passages to suggest that animals did not eat meat prior to the fall, then you are reading something into the passages that simply isn’t there. They do not actually say that God prohibits the eating of meat; only that fruit-bearing trees and green plants are His gift.

    You might also consider the fact Jesus Himself ate meat. If meat-eating is the result of sin (the fall), why would the Son of God partake? It’d be like you criticizing me for robbing a bank but then enjoying your stay on my yacht that I purchased with the stolen cash. Don’t make sense to me.

    • Terrance,

      If you’re using the cited passages to suggest that animals did not eat meat prior to the fall, then you are reading something into the passages that simply isn’t there. They do not actually say that God prohibits the eating of meat; only that fruit-bearing trees and green plants are His gift.

      The scripture says the same for both man and the animals – God gave them plant products to eat. You can’t say the passage is restrictive for man but not the animals, since it says the same for both, and in Gen. 9 God says that He is THEN giving man meat to eat as He PREVIOUSLY gave man only plants.

      You might also consider the fact Jesus Himself ate meat. If meat-eating is the result of sin (the fall), why would the Son of God partake? It’d be like you criticizing me for robbing a bank but then enjoying your stay on my yacht that I purchased with the stolen cash. Don’t make sense to me.

      No, animals beginning to eat meat after the fall (if they did, since we have no evidence one way or another) took place then – Man was not given meat until after the Flood, and it was not stated anywhere that such allowance was due to sin. Since God gave man meat to eat, why couldn’t Jesus partake of that which God gave?

  90. That’s just a statement from ignorance. You admit not needing to watch the video, because you “Know”… well good luck with that. I rather do my homework and follow the truth wherever it leads me. Your idea that all animals were herbivores flies in the face of the Bible itself, and archeology — not that you care to question your bias.

    If I watched every video atheists and evolutionists wanted me to watch, I’d never have a free moment. I have studied evolution for decades – I know all the claims, I have researched and studied hundreds of books on the subject. There is nothing new under the sun. I am not ignorant on the subject. The truth is that evolution is a farce.

    The idea that animals were herbivores is EXACTLY what the Bible says. Archaeology cannot tell you what animals ate prior to the FALL. There is nothing on earth that was there prior to the FLOOD.

    I follow where the truth is.

  91. vincedeporter says:

    Glenn, although John and I disagree on many things, so far, I have built a feeling of friendship because I think we are both reasonable. It appears we are on different paths but with the same goal; truth.

    But you are by your own admission a fundamentalist. I don’t know if you even know what that word conveys — because it is nothing to brag about. I read much of your blog, and it seems you also do not know what “reasonable doubt” is.

    I know many Christians that are reasonable. They trust Scientific findings but honestly question them when they conflict with the BIble… and that is a good thing. It is just as honorable to question scientific interpretation than it is to question Biblical interpretation. Neither one interpretation should be the object of obtuse trust.

    Again,if you admit to thinking that the Bible is the “to be interpreted by way of the literal…” You have too many problems arising with that concept; in the medical field, and concerning many scientific facts no known at the time. Historically, the Bible is a solid reference. But the stories are many times a call for supernatural explanations. These must be viewed as lessons and parables, not reality. I think it is reasonable to think that if we are indeed living the last days, God would lovingly provide miracles to give humanity the same chance he gave the world in offering evidence of Jesus status as a God that can handle anything natural. But the use of miracles is not there. Why? My conclusion for now is that there is no God. This conclusion did not fit my bias at the time, and I lost family and friends on my doubts and conversion. It cost me to follow what I see as the Truth, because it didn’t lead me to where I wanted it to.

    I hope you now understand that I am really insulted when you tell me I don’t know the Bible. I payed a price you can’t even imagine for having dug too deep. Yet, I certainly don’t know everything — so I learn, and open to be mistaken.

    Arguing with you is more a debate. You are a closed mind, so by your own definition argument is pointless. You have discredited yourself from reasonable exchange. You just ‘state’ things with no intent to back it up. Your bias, like all fundies, is like mud that is caked on your eyes, and you have no intention to objectively find truth.
    I have nothing more to say to you Glenn. I wish you good luck with your life…

    • Vince,

      But you are by your own admission a fundamentalist. I don’t know if you even know what that word conveys — because it is nothing to brag about.

      I use the meaning from the dictionary. I’m proud to be a “fundamentalist,” which means I follow all the fundamentals of the faith. Which means I do not bring my ideas into the Faith or into the Bible, rather I accept as truth that which as been proven for thousands of years, and use proper exegesis when approaching Scripture for understanding. Personally, if I’m having my taxes done, I hire a “fundamentalist” CPA, and if I’m riding in an airliner, I want a “fundamentalist” pilot at the controls.

      I read much of your blog, and it seems you also do not know what “reasonable doubt” is.

      And just how do you discern that from my blog? I invited you to an e-mail discussion proving beyond a reasonable doubt that God exists. Try it.

      I also trust scientific findings – true science. Evolutionism has no true science behind it. It is all speculations, assumptions, assertions all promoting atheism. The fact that SOME Christians have bought into such fraud (usually liberals who don’t accept the literal Word of God), that doesn’t make it any more true.

      There is nothing in any real scientific field which relies on evolutionism. Mutations by adaptation is not life-to-nonlife, amoebas to man evolution. It is just adaptation by loss of information.

      If there is a God who created everything, then is it really so unreasonable to expect that He would supernaturally intervene in His creation as He deems necessary? You make assertions base on what YOU believe God should do, as if you are of the same mind as your Creator! Isn’t that mighty presumptuous?

      You may “know the Bible,” but you have already demonstrated that you really don’t “KNOW” it, what it really says, using proper exegetical methods. Just look at your complaint about the incident in 2nd Kings!

      I never claim to know everything, and I learn new things about the Bible daily. I have learned many new understandings over the years as I learned how to use proper hermeneutical skills to understand context, etc.

      My mind is closed only to assaults on truth. Truth cannot be changed. I have not stated anything without proof in the above exchange. I cited passages and explained them as they are written and were intended to be understood – not as myths, or parables, etc. The problem is with YOUR bias that you DON’T want to accept them as truth because it flies in the face of YOUR belief system.

      I’m not here to try to force to you accept truth. I can only provide the facts and the evidence for those facts and let you choose what you want. It is YOU who have no intent to objectively seek the truth. I offered to give you evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that God exists, and that I would no use the Bible to do so, and yet you declined.

      I really suggest you get a copy of the book, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist,” by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. That was going to be my reference source to prove beyond reasonable doubt that God exists. They do that by using logic and philosophical principles. Once they do that, then they lead you to examine the fallacies of evolutionism, and the veracity of Scripture. I maintain that if you read that book to the end and don’t come to the conclusion that there is a God and that the only true faith is the Christian faith, then there is nothing more anyone can say to you.

      As for “good luck” for my life – I don’t have “luck,” rather I rely daily on the blessings of God.

      • vincedeporter says:

        //I accept as truth that which as been proven for thousands of years//

        I rest my case.

        • Vince,

          I’m glad you are comparing your “knowledge” to 2+2. You are not helping your case in being so childish. I toddler could also hold the argument that Santa is just as sure as 2+2=4.

          Now YOU are the one being childish and intentionally obtuse. I gave the example of the fundamental truth of 2+2=4 because my truth claim about God is the same as that truth claim. It is a proven fact that 2+2=4, and I am making the claim that it is a proven fact that God exists and that the Christian faith is the only true faith.

          You attacked me as being close-minded because I made a truth claim, and I pointed out that by the same logic you’d have to call someone close-minded if they refused to listen to any dissenting theories about what 2+2 really equalled.

          You attack me as being biased, and yet when I say YOU are the one who is biased you say I am a “hurtful spirit”! What is good for the goose isn’t good for the gander?!?

          I am not respectful because I challenge your beliefs, but you challenge and MOCK my beliefs and that is okay?!?! I’m not a good man to challenge your beliefs but it is okay for YOU to MOCK my beliefs?!?!?

          What sort of double standard are you using here?!?!? You gratuitously judge my beliefs and then when I judge YOUR beliefs I’m attacked as gratuitously judging YOUR beliefs.

          You get all upset when I challenge you but it is okay for you to challenge me?!?!

          //I accept as truth that which as been proven for thousands of years//

          I rest my case.</i.

          Yep, for thousands of years 2+2 has been proven to equal four, but if someone accepts that as truth and refuses to accept something different, that person is not worth having a discussion with – after all, you might just learn that HE has the real answer to that math problem.

          • vincedeporter says:

            I have nothing more to say to you. You are a grown up, and you believe what you want.
            I do think you have made a fool of yourself on this thread… but that’s just my bias. ;)

            • I do think you have made a fool of yourself on this thread… but that’s just my bias. ;)

              Nice assertion. How about telling exactly how I made a fool of myself. By giving biblical evidence? By dismissing evolutionism for the lie that it is? Yes, please tell me.

  92. vincedeporter says:

    //One can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that God exists, but one cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that He doesn’t exist. The latter attempts are always done against caricatures of God.//

    No you cannot. You can only sing your song that prove beyond a reasonable doubt to YOURSELF that God exists.

    But I will grant you that I can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a Creator God does NOT exist. That much is true.
    However, I see reasonable doubt for the existence of the particular gods of our human folklore, like Thor, Zeus, and Yahweh. And if Yahweh doesn’t exist, then Jesus was just a great man and teacher, nothing supernatural. So far, against my own preferences, this is my conclusion for now. I’m still seeking…

    You can quote all the verses you want — they will only be intrinsic to your bias. The Bible is true because it says so in the Bible. Hardly a valid argument of reason.

  93. vincedeporter says:

    //Look at Gen. 3:21. God killed an animal to provide “skin” for clothing. THAT was the first animal sacrifice to cover the sin.//

    I was arguing the first HUMAN to kill. Of course God was the first one with the animal skins. Odd though, that a god that can create a universe in 6 literal days, couldn’t dress Adam & Eve with proper clothes instead of killing innocent animals.

    At least you admit that God was the origin for blood being spilled.

    • Vince

      I was arguing the first HUMAN to kill. Of course God was the first one with the animal skins. Odd though, that a god that can create a universe in 6 literal days, couldn’t dress Adam & Eve with proper clothes instead of killing innocent animals.

      God was making a point, teaching a lesson. That they committed a sin and that there are consequences to that sin. Teaching about sacrifice pointed to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus.

      At least you admit that God was the origin for blood being spilled.

      God was the origin of the first ANIMAL blood to be spilled. MAN is who decided to kill other men.

  94. vincedeporter says:

    I have a question for you Glenn:
    Since you were an atheist before being “saved”, what argument for Faith shook your doubts on the Bible? What was the “aha” moment? Was it your research, or someone you loved and needed to follow intellectually.

    I ask, because a fundie is a fundie, and I know too many fundamentalist atheists that I cannot begin to agree with…

    • Vince

      I have a question for you Glenn:
Since you were an atheist before being “saved”, what argument for Faith shook your doubts on the Bible? What was the “aha” moment? Was it your research, or someone you loved and needed to follow intellectually.
      I ask, because a fundie is a fundie, and I know too many fundamentalist atheists that I cannot begin to agree with…

      First, “fundie” is an insulting term, because it is based on abusing the word “fundamentalist” as if there is something wrong with anyone following the fundamentals of what they profess.

      The basic story of my conversion to Christianity is here:
      http://watchmansbagpipes.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-church-experience.html

  95. vincedeporter says:

    I’m glad you are comparing your “knowledge” to 2+2. You are not helping your case in being so childish. I toddler could also hold the argument that Santa is just as sure as 2+2=4.

  96. vincedeporter says:

    //Why, because of YOUR bias? Because some atheist came up with evolution as the answer, and yet evolution can’t be proven?//

    You are a hurtful spirit, Glenn. You have NO frickin’ idea what I lost fighting my biblical bias. And you don’t even respect that my bias was NOT for evolution???
    Let me tell you sir — I’m STILL have problems with some aspects of evolution.

    Evolution came much later to me. My doubts were intrinsic with the Bible ONLY.

    I’m shaking because of the frustration I have with you telling ME what I believe.
    You are not a good man, sir. Certainly not a respectful one.

  97. vincedeporter says:

    I need to leave this conversation for now. I’m too upset. I’m not here to be told WHO I am, not to be gratuitously judged by a self acclaimed closed minded fundie.

  98. vincedeporter says:

    //You attacked me as being close-minded because I made a truth claim//

    Exactly. If someone believes that their understanding of the whole universe is as good a fact as 2+2=4, AND that they will NEVER change their mind — that is the ESSENCE of closed-mindedness.

    Again, you make a fool out of yourself in claiming there is NO new evidence that will EVER contradict the knowledge of 2-3,000 year old understanding. How you don’t see this is crazy!!!

    Anyway… I must stop arguing with you. Your journey thru religion was obviously to find one accepting the Bible “as is”, and you found it, finally.
    So be it. I emphatically disagree with your taking the Bible literally for all the reasons I mentioned.
    Good luck to you — you will need it, as there is no Biblical God.

    • Exactly. If someone believes that their understanding of the whole universe is as good a fact as 2+2=4, AND that they will NEVER change their mind — that is the ESSENCE of closed-mindedness.

      The only “understanding of the whole universe” that we were discussing was its origin. In THAT context It is not close-minded to say that God was the Creator of the universe and that the Bible is factually, literally accurate..

      Again, you make a fool out of yourself in claiming there is NO new evidence that will EVER contradict the knowledge of 2-3,000 year old understanding. How you don’t see this is crazy!!!

      And what “new evidence” can there possibly be to contradict what God has told us in the Bible? Wow, so I’m foolish for believing what millions of Christians have believed for two thousand years? I’d say Rom. 1 describes YOU when it says, “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of man, and of birds, and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creation [the religion of evolutionism] rather than the Creator.”

      Anyway… I must stop arguing with you. Your journey thru religion was obviously to find one accepting the Bible “as is”, and you found it, finally.
      So be it. I emphatically disagree with your taking the Bible literally for all the reasons I mentioned.
      Good luck to you — you will need it, as there is no Biblical God.

      My journey was to seek the truth, and that is what I found. Your asserting that there is no Biblical God does not alter the fact that He does indeed exist. And it is to YOUR eternal detriment to ignore that truth.

  99. vincedeporter says:

    * edit:
    Good luck to you — you will need it, as there is no evidence for the existence of the Biblical God.

    • * edit:
      Good luck to you — you will need it, as there is no evidence for the existence of the Biblical God.

      Oh, the evidence is there, but you don’t want to hear it. Your continued assertion that God does not exist is what is truly foolish. In order for you to KNOW that God doesn’t exist, you’d have to have total knowledge of everything – making yourself a god.

  100. vincedeporter says:

    Just one more thing though:
    You seem to think that disproving Evolution compels to the belief in your god.
    What you don’t seem to understand is that I just don’t know enough about evolution enough. If it was proven to me that we have not evolved the way science seems to say, it would still not obligate to a creator god! AND, even if it did, it would still not obligate to the Biblical God.
    I’m not a pantheist, but the Spinoza god seems like a rather reasonable belief. Einstein believed in that nature-god. I would rather not use the term ‘god’ because it is a loaded word. But quantum mechanics may surprise us in revealing a sort of intelligence and order in Nature. One thing for sure, this “designer” is not one of Love, but survival.
    Just needed to make that precision.

  101. paynehollow says:

    I’ve had a dear friend fall ill the last few days and pass away this morning. I have not, thus, had time to respond to any comments, and still don’t really. I am taking the time to address one thing. Beyond this, I’ve made my points and will let them stand (I WOULD still be interested in knowing where anyone draws the line on what IS and isn’t reasonable to regulate, legislate, outlaw or ban when it comes to destructive tools, should anyone ever want to try to answer that question. It seems like a pertinent one.)

    Earlier, Terrance thought I was suggesting that I believe that those who disagree with me on the non-violence thing are “sinners,” even though I directly and specifically said the opposite. Terrance thought he was reading my words and drawing that conclusion out of them. Terrance said…

    Anyone with at least a modicum of sense would take this diatribe as suggestion that violent self-defense is always sinful. And you certainly didn’t get that idea from Scripture, no matter how many passages you quote out of context.

    Lastly, I am reading your words, Dan. That’s the problem. That’s always the problem with you.

    I am pointing this out because I think we are on a critical point here as to why you all misunderstand people sometimes. You read my words, as Terrance notes, but then put YOUR reasoning into them, not mine and thus, draw conclusions that I don’t draw and haven’t made.

    For you all, it appears to be the case that if you find a line about a behavior in the Bible and, taken in context, you think it is a clear teaching, then that “clear teaching” becomes a rule, and not just an opinion, but a rule from God to all humanity in all circumstances. And anyone who violates that rule is sinning. Period. That is, I believe, how you all read the Bible. (It certainly is how I used to read the Bible when I thought like you all did).

    What you really need to remember is that not everyone reads the Bible like this. I read the Bible – valuing its teachings as profitable and wise and to be taken seriously – and find a line that I think speaks truth… this teaching seems to confirm with observable wisdom in many ways and not simply because I find a line in the Bible and want to take it literally. In such a case, I may well then adopt that philosophy, that wisdom as part of the Way that I feel is the Right Way to walk, the morally apt and wise way to live. Some examples of this would include non-violence, simple living, not investing, not saying a pledge of allegiance to a nation or a flag, of welcoming immigrants, of supporting and encouraging marriage commitments for gay and straight folk, etc. These are MY beliefs and MY understandings about the Right Way to live and I think they are correct.

    But I do not believe the Bible ought to be treated like a simple rule book or a moral magic 8 ball, that we roll and read One Right Answers to all our questions. That being the case, if a brother or sister reads passages and seeks wisdom and righteousness and comes to a conclusion different than I have on the case of non-violence, simple living, not investing, etc, I do not consider them “sinners,” and I FULLY support them adopting what they believe to be the Right Way for THEM to live. If you believe in pledging allegiance to a flag, I do not consider you a sinner and wrong and an enemy, you are simply a brother with whom I disagree on a topic which neither of us can prove. I support you saying the pledge of allegiance, even while I choose not to.

    Do you see what I’m saying Terrance and friends? IF everyone believed as you do and read the Bible as you do, THEN you might read my words and rightly READ INTO them this conclusion that you have reached – that I am calling you sinners. BUT, I don’t read the Bible in the same way you do and so, I don’t hold that conclusion.

    I hope this makes sense and gives you something to think about.

    Now please excuse me as I have important things to be doing.

    In Christ,

    Dan

  102. vincedeporter says:

    My most sincere condolences, Dan. I feel for your loss.
    Please accept my positive thoughts going your way.
    Vince.

  103. vincedeporter says:

    //And it is to YOUR eternal detriment to ignore that truth.//

    Exactly my point. For sinning (missing the mark), in other words for being sincerely convinced as I am that there is no evidence for Yahweh — while being a moral person that only slept with two women in my life (both my ex-wives), being a good father that loves his children, and having done all I could to help my neighbors, YOU are convinced I will live an ETERNITY in hell — and YOU see no problem with a god of that injustice?

    How do you sleep at night “knowing” billions of honest to goodness people will roast — not just years, nor even a lifetime — but for all eternity?

    And you think of this with self-righteous glee. You should be ashamed of yourself!

    • Vince,

      How do you sleep at night “knowing” billions of honest to goodness people will roast — not just years, nor even a lifetime — but for all eternity?

      And you think of this with self-righteous glee. You should be ashamed of yourself!

      You know, the Bible says our works are nothing but soiled menstrual cloths to God. We can’t work our way to heaven. Nothing you will do will pay for your sins. How good do you think you have to be? 50%, 75%? If you’re good 75% of the time does that make it okay to bad the other 25%?

      How in the WORLD did you determine that I have “self-righteous glee” over anyone who will spend eternity in Hell?!??! I have no joy whatsoever, and am saddened for all those who reject God because of their own arrogance.

      • vincedeporter says:

        You call it arrogance, and that there is the problem.
        You don’t recognize sincere quest in any others but you it seems.

  104. vincedeporter says:

    //Personally, if I’m having my taxes done, I hire a “fundamentalist” CPA, and if I’m riding in an airliner, I want a “fundamentalist” pilot at the controls.//

    Yep. Only a fundie would twist meaning like this. “fundamentalist” pilot, indeed… LOL!
    You obviously don’t care for correct definitions.
    _____
    fun·da·men·tal·ism (fnd-mntl-zm)
    n.
    1. A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.
    2.
    a. often Fundamentalism An organized, militant Evangelical movement originating in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century in opposition to Protestant Liberalism and secularism, insisting on the inerrancy of Scripture.
    b. Adherence to the theology of this movement.
    _____
    Merriam Webster:

    fun·da·men·tal·ism noun \-tə-ˌli-zəm\

    Definition of FUNDAMENTALISM

    1
    a often capitalized : a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching
    b : the beliefs of this movement
    c : adherence to such beliefs
    2
    : a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles

    • In Glenns defense, definitions have been revised to reflect the pejorative characterization of conservative Christians who believe in traditional marriage.

      • vincedeporter says:

        This is why he should avoid the term in his bio.
        I agree… terms do evolve (pun intended)! :D

        • Vince,

          This is why he should avoid the term [fundamentalist] in his bio.

          Why should I avoid using a term properly? Guess what, I use “gay” to mean happy.

          Christians know what the term truly means.

          • vincedeporter says:

            if you use “gay” to mean happy, then be prepared to be misunderstood. Language evolves… either your goal is to communicate well, or stick to words only your close peers can understand.

            I just hope you don’t use the word “nigger” (although I know a few right wing white Christians who do…)

            • Vince,

              if you use “gay” to mean happy, then be prepared to be misunderstood. Language evolves… either your goal is to communicate well, or stick to words only your close peers can understand.

              I just hope you don’t use the word “nigger” (although I know a few right wing white Christians who do…)

              “He who controls the language controls the masses”. – Saul Alinsky in Rules for Radicals

              I don’t let the radicals control the language. I use it as it is supposed to be used, and was always used until the anti-Christians decided to redefine things. Which is why they redefine “marriage.”

              I never used the word “nigger” because even though it originated as a corruption of “negro”, the term has had a demeaning intent for almost 200 years. I also don’t call Chinese or other Oriental people “gooks.”

              Sorry, nigger just isn’t in the same category as “fundamental”

    • Vince,

      The dictionary definitions you use are very PC and modern. Do you not follow the fundamentals of any discipline? I taught classes on the fundamentals of Air Traffic Control – so that the students would learn the “basics” which are applied in the field of ATC.

      Don’t be so ignorant.

      • vincedeporter says:

        I’m not being ignorant. You know VERY well the word is loaded… I mean, come on! “Fundamentalist”? Really?

        You are playing with words. I just wanted to remind you the general definition — and like John mentioned, the word has since been used pejoratively. So why use it for yourself?

        • Vince,
          You are playing with words. I just wanted to remind you the general definition — and like John mentioned, the word has since been used pejoratively. So why use it for yourself?

          1) because I don’t play the PC word redefinition game. Guess what, a fundamental marriage doesn’t include same-sex fake marriage.
          2) Because I use the term properly and my audience, which consists mostly of Christians, understand the term.

        • I would consider myself a fundamentalist in a classic sense, but will not use the term because of how it is understood today…it shuts down discussikns before it even starts.

          • vincedeporter says:

            //but will not use the term because of how it is understood today…it shuts down discussions before it even starts.//

            Yes, that is my point.

            As you know, I was brought up a JW… so I know what fundies are like from the inside. It turns me off instantly.
            Like I said, it’s a loaded word. Today at least.

  105. Glenn,

    The scripture says the same for both man and the animals – God gave them plant products to eat. You can’t say the passage is restrictive for man but not the animals, since it says the same for both, and in Gen. 9 God says that He is THEN giving man meat to eat as He PREVIOUSLY gave man only plants.

    The Scripture ONLY says that God gave them plant products to eat. It DOES NOT say that meat-eating was prohibited.

    No, animals beginning to eat meat after the fall (if they did, since we have no evidence one way or another) took place then – Man was not given meat until after the Flood, and it was not stated anywhere that such allowance was due to sin. Since God gave man meat to eat, why couldn’t Jesus partake of that which God gave?

    Because meat-eating was clearly the result of sin if it only began after the fall – as you said.

    • Terrance
      The Scripture ONLY says that God gave them plant products to eat. It DOES NOT say that meat-eating was prohibited.

      The passage says the identical thing about both animals and man – they are given plants for food. Then man is later given meat for food. If you take part of the passage to mean that the animals weren’t restricted from eating meat, then you have to apply the same interpretation to man.

      Why is it the theologians who write the commentaries are wrong but you aren’t?

  106. Dan,

    Sorry to hear about your friend.

  107. vincedeporter says:

    //n order for you to KNOW that God doesn’t exist, you’d have to have total knowledge of everything – making yourself a god.//

    I never said that. I said I do not know if there is a creator god.
    But I also said that the evidence pointing to the god of the bible is intrinsically inconsistent, with the typical human flaws and ignorance of the writers.

    • Vince

      I also said that the evidence pointing to the god of the bible is intrinsically inconsistent, with the typical human flaws and ignorance of the writers.

      No it isn’t. You keep asserting that, buy you have no evidence to support such assertions.

      Boy, for someone who was finished with me in this discussion, you sure have a lot to say to me!

  108. The passage says the identical thing about both animals and man – they are given plants for food. Then man is later given meat for food. If you take part of the passage to mean that the animals weren’t restricted from eating meat, then you have to apply the same interpretation to man.

    And I do. Genesis speaks of sheep herders before the flood. Unless you believe that sheep were kept solely as a source of clothing, you have to believe that some human beings chose to eat their meat – since God clearly did not prohibit them from doing so.

    Why is it the theologians who write the commentaries are wrong but you aren’t?

    This is an appeal to authority, a clear fallacy. Regardless, if these “theologians” are saying the passages prohibit the eating of meat, then I would suggest they get their money back from whatever college they attended – since the passages absolutely do not say that.

    • Terrance:

      Genesis speaks of sheep herders before the flood. Unless you want to believe that sheep were kept solely as a source of clothing, then you have to believe that some human beings chose to eat meat – since God clearly did not prohibit them from doing so

      The primary use of sheep forever has been for their wool. Why would sheepherders have to eat them? To fit in your bias?

      A proper exegesis of the passages in Gen. has neither man nor beast eating meat at Creation.

      • Glenn

        In the same way you conclude neither man nor beast ate meat due to silence, youd also have to conclude jesus never went to the bathroom.

        • John,

          In the same way you conclude neither man nor beast ate meat due to silence, youd also have to conclude jesus never went to the bathroom.

          Wrong John. I am not arguing from silence. Please explain the meaning of Gen. 9:3 if man had meat ate meat prior to the Flood. God says, “NOW” He gives them neat. Since man and animal are in the same passage in Gen 1 being told what their food will be, both were told plants were to be their food.

          God just created animals and man. He gave them instructions. Just being created, they wouldn’t know what to eat. He said that the plants would be their food. I’m not making this stuff up, I’m reading what the text says without bringing in outside ideas. And those who know the language say the same thing in their commentaries.

  109. vincedeporter says:

    //Boy, for someone who was finished with me in this discussion, you sure have a lot to say to me!//

    I’m an addict for clarity. I learn from you too, you know. You have encoraged me to order the book : I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman L. Geisler, Frank Turek.

    I defend passionately what I believe to be logical and arguable. I’m not closed to anything really. But I had the adverse conversion you did — and I think you can understand it is harder to admit we could have been wrong yet again. It’s human. But I am honest, and I checked the review for the book, and decided to order it.

    I will read it with an open mind, albeit a critical one. That’s my position on Evolution. I see the evidence of natural selection, but I’m still testing some of the things I have trouble with. This is why it was unfair to assume I dropped creation for evolution. For now, yes, I dropped creation… I’m just not satisfied about anything else yet.

    We’ll see what this book can generate in my curious brain.

    • Vince,

      I defend passionately what I believe to be logical and arguable.

      When I do that, by making a truth claim, you call me close-minded and foolish.

      • vincedeporter says:

        //When I do that, by making a truth claim, you call me close-minded and foolish.//

        I also added that I was open to be corrected — so please don’t quote-mine me. Thank you.

        • Terrance

          You’re not reading Genesis in any possible way as it was intended. There is simply no evidence that God prohibited meat-eating. You are simply extrapolating the notiion.

          I gave you the context, Vince. Ignore it if you want. But I wonder what makes you think YOU have the answers and all those scholarly commentaries I read are in error? The context is as plain as the nose on your face. After the Flood God said, “NOW,” He gives them meat. IF they ate it previously, it would have been going against God or else the “NOW” would make no sense. Did the animals likely begin to eat each other after the Fall? probably, since they don’t have reasoning ability and aren’t held accountable as “sinners.” But they were corrupted by the Fall, as Rom 8 plainly says.

          So, I’m not a good apologist when it comes to Genesis? Why, because you think it is myth or fable or parable or whatever? Because you accept speculations, assumptions and assertions from so-called scientists that man has been around for millions of years?
          Again, you relegate Genesis to a low view, and if someone like me (or everyone in Creationist organizations – you know, theologians and scientists) accepts Genesis as it is written, you then marginalize us. To me that puts you on the same level as Trabue – picking and choosing what to take as literal history, depending on how it fits in your worldview. I’m consistent with my hermeneutic – I treat ALL of Scripture as it was intended by the authors to be taken.

          • Glenn

            You do know there are authors’ commentaries that dont take your view right?

            But its not because anyone here on the Christian side thinks genesis is a myth. As I said in my post ‘the days of old’ I think It is literally an account of what happened. You narrowly assign one of many possible definitions to certain words. Those narrow assignments of definitions create unnecessary conflicts with other portions of the bible and what we know about the natural world.

  110. The primary use of sheep forever has been for their wool. Why would sheepherders have to eat them? To fit in your bias?

    You don’t know that, Glenn. You’re assuming that. And why would they have to eat them? What the hell does that even mean? Why do I have to eat pizza? I don’t – but I do because I like it.

    A proper exegesis of the passages in Gen. has neither man nor beast eating meat at Creation.

    A “proper exegesis” doesn’t assume something that clearly isn’t written.

    • Terrance,

      It is plain from the text that when God gave them plants for food, that was all they were given. As noted, if we play by your rules of reading into the text, then you have to have mankind eating meat before God gave it to him after the Flood.

      I know, all the authorities I appeal to are wrong and you are right. The only theologians who you will find to agree with you are those who don’t consider Genesis literal – i.e., liberals.

      Stick to what it plainly says.

  111. Vince,

    I just hope you don’t use the word “nigger” (although I know a few right wing white Christians who do…)

    I know many white liberals that use the term “nigger.” I know many black Christians that use the word “nigger.” I know many different kinds of people of all colors and religious backgrounds who use or have used the term “nigger,” so I don’t know what point you think you’re trying to make.

    Your contributions have been decent thus far, but if you’re going to start labeling people as racist, sexist, or whatever based on their socio-cultural or political backgrounds, then you’re no different than any other liberal we’ve had on this blog.

  112. Glenn,

    Fact is, you’re angry because you were caught doing something you frequently chide others for doing, i.e., reading into the passages. I see nothing wrong with mankind eating meat before the Flood. I don’t know why this is so objectionable, since the Bible clearly does not prohibit it.

    Mostly, you seem to interpret the Bible the way it was intended – except when Gensis is discussed. You leave all sense behind so as to accept the completely unbiblical notion of Young Earth Creationsim.

    Stop extrapolating meanings favorable to your bias.

    • Terrance,

      Number 1, I am not angry. Why you’d even say such a thing is beyond me.

      Number 2, I am reading what the passage says. In context with Gen 9 you have to agree that man was given only plants to eat, and since the exact same verbiage is used with animals as with man, then they have to mean the same thing. This has been the understanding of Christian scholars/commentators for eons,

      I read Genesis as it was intended to be read. Which includes young earth creationism. There is no other way that the author intended for it to be read. The only reason people want old earth creationism is because so-called scientists say the earth and universe is old so THEY can fit in evolutionism. No other reason.

      I have not extrapolated anything. I am consistent in how I read Scripture – you are the one who extrapolates to bring in an old earth idea.

      I hold a high view of Scripture but apparently you do not, especially when it comes to Genesis.

  113. vincedeporter says:

    //I know many different kinds of people of all colors and religious backgrounds who use or have used the term “nigger,” so I don’t know what point you think you’re trying to make.//

    My bad if my point wasn’t clear. It was an attempt to illustrate that words change, and that the word “gay” and “nigger” has evolved to mean something else.
    I apologize for the ill example, because I realize it was not a good choice. Sorry about that.

  114. It’s refreshing to have someone like you around, Vince. The more I read your words the more I see that you are indeed intellectually honest.

  115. vincedeporter says:

    With all this back and forth, I can slip up and be an ass. I am sorry if I came across like that.

    I’m trying to make sense of everything, and I’m neither a scientist nor a theologian.
    I only have my logic and reason to interpret evidence and argument. It’s true that I’m very sceptical of the words “I know” when it involves obviously more that just 2+2=4.

    I understand conviction, even passionate conviction — but I am skeptical when from the get-go someone claims to know where truth is, and that it is not accountable to new discoveries and understanding.

    For example, a Muslim can think the Qur’an is the Truth, but he can be wrong on the source of his trust. One can also claim the Bible to be perfect, and that the knowledge it contains is the pure Truth — but one can be wrong there too. This was my case: I “Knew” the Bible was right (so I was in the know myself), until I discovered more and more things that were difficult to rationalize, making my conscience suffer.
    But I could still have missed something.

    Everyone should at least question the sources we trust. There is nothing easier than going for bias confirmation. Anybody can make anything fit — but it is not proof in itself.
    I doubted the Bible from within. Only later did I read up on evolution — and now I’m questioning that too. The evidence for it is plethora, but there is still problems on the interpretation of what is observed IMO.

    So I’m trying to make sense of all of it. I proceed by elimination, a bit like a detective — but I know I may have missed some important clues. So I follow these kind of threads as long as I am invited to.

    I apologize to you, Glenn — for having been personal with you. I regret much of what I said in my frustration. Not that it is an excuse, but I’m bipolar and I do ignite at times. I am really sorry when that happens.

    Thank you all for your precious information. I rather get it from the horses mouth so to speak. I am not deaf about what is said here. I think it over… I often have the blues of being a Christian… I lost much in following my instinct and logic. I lived much longer with a Godly bias than one of an atheist… I still have a journey to walk. I will follow what I sincerely find logical and peaceful… wherever it leads me.
    What I strongly feel is that if I’m wrong on God, he will know my heart never intended to rebel, and wanted to find Truth by making sure of all things (or as much as I can). If he is good, I have nothing to fear. If there is indeed a Hell that will punish for eternity the short life of an imperfect thinker, then I want nothing to do with him anyway.

    So I am still gathering information… and will continue to do so.

  116. vincedeporter says:

    Thank you Terrance.

  117. Vince,

    My baptism was the climax of my family’s piety. We rarely went to church, never read the Bible or talked about God in any meaningful way. God was little more than a distant notion, a useful tool to lean on in times of strife. Anytime I saw someone pray over dinner I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. It was abnormal to treat God in this way, I thought. God was to be kept on the back burner. I simply knew no other way.

    Thus, I became an agnostic. I didn’t really believe in God, mind you, but I was too afraid of Him to be an atheist. It doesn’t make much sense, I know, but it’s how I felt as a young man. Eventually, I stopped fearing God and rejected Him altogether. I couldn’t understand believing in the Christian God. What a prick, I thought, for allowing children to suffer and die a death not suitable for dogs let alone human beings.

    Somehow, though, I managed to reconsider and become a real agnostic with a sincere interest in expanding my nascent spirituality. I discovered material I never knew existed. I found “Does God Exist?” debates on YouTube and this whole defense of faith known as Christian Apologetics. I spent countless hours watching, listening, and reading everything I could get my hands on. In time, I found myself believing in Jesus Christ and it was Christian Apologetics that got me to that point. Because of people like Glenn and John who take the time to answer questions and concerns sincerely.

    But I can understand your frustration. I found it very annoying when people pointed to the Bible for proof of God. I couldn’t understand it – until I learned that the Bible itself is not a single book, but many books that for most of their history stood totally apart from one another. The New Testament, for example, is a collection of different accounts by different authors that tell basically the same story. And then I discovered other ancient writings, like those of Josesphus and Tacitus, that also supported many accounts of the Bible. To me, this explained why apologists like Glenn use the Bible to prove the Bible.

    Of course, this doesn’t solve the problem of the Old Testament. Let’s face it, the God of the Old Testament appears to be a genocidal megalomaniac, doesn’t he? I know. I felt the same way. And for people like us, faith is a learning process, not a gift. You have to work for it.

  118. vincedeporter says:

    I guess my journey was the opposite of yours, Terrance.
    Thank you for sharing! :)

    I was brought up a JW, and even if their understanding of the Bible is more than questionable, force is to admit they generally have a warm love for each other — at least that was the feeling growing up. I never questioned anything until I was 12 — timidly — because the word “apostate” was dangled in front of me, and the morbid fear that accompanies it. So I just followed along.

    I became one of the good door to door JW. I was getting a lot of attention because I had die-hard illustrations on the pulpit. I always refused to become an elder (never liked the idea of judging others). I spent most of my time preaching, giving Bible studies — and most of all, I had a passion to explain my Faith with logic and soundness, hence my deep personal Bible research. I helped myself with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries and historical books like Josephus and other important help like archeology. The latter bolstered my Faith as the Bible seemed always historically correct. Even about the Hittites that historians laughed at until the archeologists found all of it. I laughed at Evolution, because as you might guess, all I knew about it was the spin the JWs Watchtower gave us (and reading Darwin’s book would have been a mark of sheer rebellion to God). So Evolution was barely on my mind. However, I was an old Earth Creationist (again, Archeology was majeur evidence for me).

    The admiration I got from my peers eventually turned cold — my deeper study of the Bible itself had me doubting out loud. The Elders got hold of me and dangled the word “Apostate” in front of me again (and with the JWs you get disfellowshipped for it, and even your family will shun you). So I backed off being vocal about it.

    I was horrified by what I was now reading clearly, in context. Indeed, Jehovah was a horrific monster most of the time. Not only that, but any which way I tried to make the creation account fit, it just didn’t remotely fit archeological evidence. (I was still not bothered by Evolution — I had enough on my plate with the Bible alone.) My bias was strong enough to keep seeking a logical explanation to all of this. I WANTED the Bible to be true — but it was crumbling by logic alone. I resent the idea of it being merely “human logic” — that’s a cop out to dismiss the fact that we all — ALL — embrace what we think reasonable; whether Theism or Atheism. I do not consider anyone of us to be of bad faith (until there is, and unfortunately there often is…). I am just as guilty as the next guy of passionately defending my bias, and failing at times to admit being wrong. But I usually come thru — as I did for my Biblical bias.

    My last attempt (for over a decade) was to dismiss the horror stories of the OT, and it’s ridiculous scientific flaws — to and embrace at least Jesus and the new message he preached. I tried hard… but at the end, Matthew 5 confirmed that Jesus thought the Mosaic Law to be perfect, and throughout his words glorified the Father. I just could not love his Father as he did. Then, Jesus started a not so peaceful discourse, dissing the Family Unit as of little importance (Matthew 10:34-39). Then of course, Revelation clearly portrays a violent King, blood of those not accepting him, etc… I was forced to conclude that although better, it was still “like Father like Son”.
    Even the peaceful and transcendent message of Christ could not distract me from the obvious.

    I fought this for a few years, then had to be honest to myself. I hated these gods, and the Biblical message. There never was “free will” — like A.W. Tozer added, the “message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.” Indeed it is. Love is to be found nowhere in the deepest parts of the Bible. “Obey or Die” is not Free Will, it’s an ultimatum. Death is a punishment, not a choice.
    Anyway, for a couple of years, I was angry at this God. I went on to study other religions and philosophies, but they all seemed just as ignorant of reality. I had loved the Bible BECAUSE I thought it was reality. So I lost my conviction. I had to admit it was all Holy BS. But that of course is MY journey.

    There is a great relief in following our conscience. I have not changes my morals, on the contrary — I am more in tune with humanity’s problems. I’m not as judgemental as I was. I now love my ‘neighbor’ more than ever — with no Condescendence.
    Condescendence is a huge thing when we think we can help “save” the others from their ‘wrong’ cultures and beliefs. That’s gone now. I just fight the points that I find are inherently ignorant of Reality— like young Earth Creationism. It makes no sense in the basics of physics. Heck, even a tree can’t grow in 24 hours! Not even a tomato! That’s just ONE example. Of course, the cop-out is that God can do anything. Too bad he can’t make geology witness to 24 hour periods. This subject makes me angry, to be honest.
    Ironically, WE are the ones name-called obtuse. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at that.

    Anyway, I just wanted to share my journey. We all have a different one. Time will tell each of us if we were right or wrong. The only thing we should NEVER do, is accuse the other of being dishonest. I have been guilty of that myself at times. But it’s something worthy to work on, to progress as Humans.

  119. vincedeporter says:

    //And for people like us, faith is a learning process, not a gift. You have to work for it.//

    I just wanted to add that I DID work for it, over a 40 year period. Oh how I worked for it!!!
    I had EVERYTHING to lose to follow my conscience. And I lost my most precious thing: My family unit. My wife divorced my on the non-biblical grounds of Apostasy. Most of my peers also left me. I can’t even blame them, as they followed Jesus words:
    “For I have come to set a man against his father,
    and a daughter against her mother,
    and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
    and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.
    Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me”

    Can’t say I like the author of these words.

  120. I also added that I was open to be corrected — so please don’t quote-mine me. Thank you

    No quote mining – that statement was said in isolation and I took it in isolation. I also say I’m open to correction – as long as you don’t try to tell me 2+2=5.

    Do you really think any solid Christian would be willing to “be open” to changing his faith? Try that with John MacArthur or any other well-known Christian.

  121. Vince,

    Words don’t change. People with an agenda change what they mean by those words so that they can control the debate, and “control the masses.” I’m not one of the masses who will be controlled.

    • I agree that ‘fundamentaist’ has changed over time as an intentional attempt to poison the well, I dont see any benefit in using it. If rapist used to mean lover of Christ, I would never use it.

  122. Vince,

    The one thing you have to understand about those who say, “I know,” and that is that they are making a truth claim. Truth doesn’t change. A Muslim can think the Qur’an is from God, but they can be proven false base on logic and even the historical events surrounding the text. Mohammed claimed the O.T. as the backing for his beliefs, with additional “revelation” from God. But since the O.T. and the Qur’an contradict each other, both cannot be correct.

    After all, there is indeed an objective truth. And my claim to the truth of God and the Bible is based on evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Oh, and by the way, you didn’t learn about “fundies” from the JWs – rather you learned a caricature from them. They teach a caricature of all REAL Christians, which is what cults normally do.

  123. Glenn,

    You’re not reading Genesis in any possible way as it was intended. There is simply no evidence that God prohibited meat-eating. You are simply extrapolating the notiion.

    Also, obviously Vince has some concerns. I would ask, as a favor to me since I consider you a friend, that you do your best to answer those concerns. You are a wonderful Christian Apologist, Glenn, except when Genesis is discussed. LOL. I know the whole Genesis thing is something you and I will disagree on for a long time. But aside from that, this Vince fellow I think could benefit from an honest discussion. He’s a good fellow that doesn’t reject things out of hand.

    Vince,

    I very much appreciate your response and I will respond in much more detail a little later today. I’m sort of pressed for time at this point, but I do care about your concerns and I will do my best to respond. Thank you for your honesty and discourse.

  124. Vince,
    Of course, this doesn’t solve the problem of the Old Testament. Let’s face it, the God of the Old Testament appears to be a genocidal megalomaniac, doesn’t he?

    He never appeared that way to me. I always understood that if He created everything, they He has the right to determine what is right or wrong, and to punish the wrong. I guess I’ve always understood that there IS an objective right and wrong, and I like wrong to be punished. And sometimes the punishment has collateral damage, such as when we nuked Japan. But if the Japanese citizens had risen up against their government, the war would have never happened; but, they were brainwashed that way from birth. The analogy is with God and the Canaanites. They were a pagan people who did heinous things, so God used His chosen nation to wipe them out. Were there innocent people among them? Probably not, because they were all raised in that culture.

  125. Whowa, Glenn.

    I said that, not Vince. That was MY objection to the notion of the Christian God.

    I appreciate your response, but I want to be clear. It was TERRANCE and NOT VINCE that raised that objection…

  126. It’s a stretch to say that man didn’t eat meat. Just because Genesis says that God provided fruit and plants to eat doesn’t mean everything else was prohibited.

    And like I said, if sin is responsible for meat-eating, then why did Jesus partake? Don’t make sense to me.

  127. Terrance,

    I said that, not Vince. That was MY objection to the notion of the Christian God.

    Sorry, I just noticed that. That’s the problem with comment strings vs e-mails.
    However, my comment against the objection remains the same.

  128. Glenn,

    For the second time, quit blaming Vince for the things I say. You keep attributing my words to him.

    Anyway….

    Fact is, Glenn, the passages you quoted do not say that God prohibited meat-eating, do they?

    No, they don’t. So you keep stretching passages to support your notions. I’ll wait.

    Done? No?

    Done? Keep going.

    Done? No…

    And you never will be.You have your own ideas of God, Glenn, that are not only extra-biblical, but utterly un-biblical. You must try to stop this, Glenn, It is folly.

    • We all have notions about God that, in the end, arent going to turn out to be true.

      I just done see how “here you can eat these plants” is the same as “no meat for you”.

      Glenn, is it possible that God told adam to eat the plants and feed them to animals because it doesnt necessarily look like food? Take a coconut for example.

    • Terrance,

      For the second time, quit blaming Vince for the things I say. You keep attributing my words to him.

      Does it really matter who said it when a response is given to correct what needs correction? This comment string is difficult to keep up with, since they don’t always come in order in my inbox, and you don’t always have your html code properly placed.

      </IFact is, Glenn, the passages you quoted do not say that God prohibited meat-eating, do they?

      Terrance, please explain the context of why God would say “NOW” He gives man food to eat in Gen. 9. Come on, explain it if it wasn’t previously forbidden?

      No, they don’t. So you keep stretching passages to support your notions. I’ll wait.
      Done? No?
      Done? Keep going.
      Done? No…

      It is YOU notions which want to ignore the plain reading of the text, because it doesn’t fit with YOU old earth, low view of Genesis.

      And you never will be.You have your own ideas of God, Glenn, that are not only extra-biblical, but utterly un-biblical. You must try to stop this, Glenn, It is folly.

      No, the only thing “extra-biblical” or “unblbilcal” is YOUR old earth low view of Genesis, and the folly is YOURS for ignoring the context so plain in your face.
      
COME ONE – answer why God would say, “NOW” He gives them meat as he previously gave them plants. What sense would it make if he had already given them meat? Explain it, Mr low view of Genesis.

  129. John,

    Its probable that man didnt eat meat prior to that point. But to leap to no animal death because of that is a stretch.

    Why is it a stretch to say animals didn’t eat meat until the Fall? Especially since we don’t know how long the time in Eden lasted?

    My theory is that it had to be less than nine months, since the children were born after the Fall. The statement in 4:1 about Adam laying with his wife is one of those which doesn’t specify a time, rather it explains how Eve got pregnant. And I would think they’d go about procreating immediately, since they were commanded to do so, and they would be becoming “one” as husband and wife. But the fact that the children were born outside of Eden makes it impossible to be more than nine months.

    Some commentators use Psalm 51 to say conception was after the Fall, but that one passage has been debated for centuries as to exactly what David meant by that, and whether it should apply to all mankind.

    We also don’t know when Satan fell; all we know is that it had to be AFTER God rested, because at that time he called all of creation “good,” which He could not have done if Satan had already fallen.

    So, IF it was as long as 9 months in the Garden, how is this a “stretch” to say there was no death during this time?

    • Its a stretch to go from man didnt eat meat until God told him to, to no animal death until the fall.

      You have to presume and suppose too much in order to hold that. It is literally an argument from speculation.

      Since there is no prohibition for anything to eat meat, it is reasonable to conclude carnivores did. I admit that adam didnt until God told him it was avaliable, but thats not an extension to all animals.

  130. Terrance,
    It’s a stretch to say that man didn’t eat meat. Just because Genesis says that God provided fruit and plants to eat doesn’t mean everything else was prohibited.

    So all the context I showed you is just marginalized, doesn’t mean what it says, etc. Fine, if looking at the facts won’t sway you, then there’s no point in continuing.

    And like I said, if sin is responsible for meat-eating, then why did Jesus partake? Don’t make sense to me.
    Your premise is faulty. No one said sin was responsible for meat-eating. Sin was responsible for the Fall – the corruption of man and the world. This corruption possibly let animals to eat meat – eating each other as a way of fighting. Man also fought among themselves after the Fall, but man doesn’t eat other men as part of the victory (not normally).

    But God gave man meat to eat after the Flood. If God provided food, it cannot be a sin to eat said food.

  131. John,

    You do know there are authors’ commentaries that dont take your view right?

    Correct, but you will notice that those who don’t take that view are liberal in most of the other aspects of the Bible.

    “Fundamental” scholars have always held Genesis to be true history. Matthew Henry’s late 17th century commentary says the same thing I do – I’m not making this stuff up.

    But its not because anyone here on the Christian side thinks genesis is a myth. As I said in my post ‘the days of old’ I think It is literally an account of what happened. You narrowly assign one of many possible definitions to certain words. Those narrow assignments of definitions create unnecessary conflicts with other portions of the bible and what we know about the natural world.

    I disagree. I think there is a lot of low view of Genesis here. And I don’t narrowly assign any definitions – I read in the blooming context! The only reason you don’t want to accept the context is because you don’t think it makes sense with modern science.

    • Glenn

      Its not my experience that everyone who holds an ancient universe is liberal. Not everyone who holds the view does so because they see it as myth or fiction. I hold genesis as a true story, but I dont think ‘day’ has only 1 definition, you seem to think it does.

      Youve never accounted for mornings and evenings that occurred prior to the making of the sun. Morning and evening refer to the phenomena of sunrise and sunset. Youve never accounted for the fact that we are still in the 7th day. Your tunnel vision on this issue force a crude understanding of the passages.

  132. John,

    We all have notions about God that, in the end, arent going to turn out to be true.
    I just done see how “here you can eat these plants” is the same as “no meat for you”.
    Glenn, is it possible that God told adam to eat the plants and feed them to animals because it doesnt necessarily look like food? Take a coconut for example.

    I’ll go back to the context as I did with Terrance. Last time, and you can believe what you want.

    CONTEXT, Gen 9 God says that He NOW gives man meat to eat as he previously gave him plants. If man was permitted meat previous to this, then how does this statement by God make sense? It DOESN’T!

    And the context when God gave man plants to eat is the same context as he gave animals plants to eat. IF you say God didn’t prohibit the animals from eating meat prior to the Fall, then you have to say the same thing for man, in which case Gen. 9:3 doesn’t make any sense!

  133. John

    Its a stretch to go from man didnt eat meat until God told him to, to no animal death until the fall.

    No stretch at all. Explain why there had to be death of animals before the Fall? If the world wasn’t corrupted death did not take place. You want man to be eternal but animals dropping like flies. Romans plainly said DEATH entered through sin – it didn’t say only human death.

    You have to presume and suppose too much in order to hold that. It is literally an argument from speculation.

    It is YOU who must make presumptions. I take the Word of God for what it says.

    Since there is no prohibition for anything to eat meat, it is reasonable to conclude carnivores did. I admit that adam didnt until God told him it was avaliable, but thats not an extension to all animals.

    AH, but it is YOU who say that there was no prohibition to eat meat. And you have decided that because man has labeled certain animals as carnivores, that they were created as carnivores. Well man is a carnivore and yet man was designed to eat only plant products. Why is it unreasonable for the same to hold true for animals?

    And you said, “SINCE there was NO prohibition” for eating meat, yet I proved by context that there indeed was such prohibition.

  134. John,

    Its not my experience that everyone who holds an ancient universe is liberal. Most start there.

    Not everyone who holds the view does so because they see it as myth or fiction.
    The ONLY way to hold to an old earth view is to NOT take Genesis 1 literally.

    I hold genesis as a true story, but I dont think ‘day’ has only 1 definition, you seem to think it does.

    The word day has a context to it. In Genesis it is measured by the morning and the evening, and it is given cardinal numbers.

    Youve never accounted for mornings and evenings that occurred prior to the making of the sun. Morning and evening refer to the phenomena of sunrise and sunset.

    God was the light. And a day is measured by the time of the earth’s rotation, not whether the sun is there.

    Youve never accounted for the fact that we are still in the 7th day. Your tunnel vision on this issue force a crude understanding of the passages.

    Um, where does it say in Scripture that we are in the 7th day? The 7th day ended or else there would be no time measurement.

    Try reading this article. It’s my last word on this subject and this comment string. This has taken an inordinate amount of my time for nothing but futility.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v7/n2/24-hour-days

    • Hebrews days were still in Gods day of rest. And now youre interpolating. It doesnt say God is the light. Now youre forced to “read between the lines”.

    • Answers in Genesis is to Christain apologetics what World Net Daily is to news.

      • John,

        Now you are abusing Scripture. Hebrews is a totally different context.

        And your comment about AIG is what I’d expect from an atheist. How about you just read the article and try to dispute the evidence.

        Have a nice day. I’m unsubscribing from this comment string. I’ve wasted enough of my time with people – even Christians – who can’t understand context and who have a low view of Genesis just so they can fit in so-called “science” of millions of years – when there is NO factual evidence for such claims.

  135. Glenn,

    Don’t dare claim I’m the one not reading the passages right. YOU are the one generating meanings of your own, not me. Answer:

    Does God say in Genesis that humans cannot eat meat?

    No? Oh, ok. What I thought all along…

  136. vincedeporter says:

    //Its not my experience that everyone who holds an ancient universe is liberal. Not everyone who holds the view does so because they see it as myth or fiction. I hold genesis as a true story, but I dont think ‘day’ has only 1 definition, you seem to think it does.//

    John is right on this, Glenn.

    Genesis 1: 4,5a says:
    “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the DAY that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, 5 and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew…”

    I highlighted “day” here, because it is the same original word used for the “days” of creation. However, this “day” is used for the all of those days together.

    So you see, you have no reason to qualify every use of the word “day” to a 24 hour period. Just being logical using biblical context.

  137. Yeeeeeep. Let’s rest our argument on a single word: “NOW…”

    Okay. And let’s not even mention the other meanings of the term. Let’s just, ya know, drown all common sense. Let’s, ya know, be guilty of everything atheists accuse us of.

    The Earth is not 6,000 years old, Glenn. It is much, much older, and science proves it.

  138. vincedeporter says:

    Here is the interlinear Hebrew text to back up my argument:
    http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/gen2.pdf

  139. vincedeporter says:

    Same expression “day of” in Gen. 1:31.

    י ם
    ium
    day-of
    הַ שִּׁ שִּׁ י
    e·shshi
    the·sixth

  140. vincedeporter says:

    Ah! Leaving before reacting to my explanation of “Day”. How convenient.
    That’s sad because I would have like to read some perspective on that…

  141. vincedeporter says:

    I have much respect for you all on this thread. We may have different perspectives, but we do have the same goal; Truth. Thank you for letting me comment here. I hope I have not been a nuisance, like many atheists I know.

    If you wish, you may read my post on the common grounds we face, both of us.
    http://vincedeporter.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/common-grounds-for-theists-and-atheists/

    Peace to you all. I’ll keep reading on here. :)

  142. vincedeporter says:

    Will do John. Thanks.

  143. I’m gonna read your blog, Vince. Like I say, right now, I’m sorta just responding to this in passing when I have the time. Later, I’ll be able to respond to your full response in this thread, and also read your blog…

    I want to, trust me. Gimme some time! I’ll get there…

  144. It’s always problematic to resolve every little think in Genesis, not to mention the entire Bible. But like Glenn, I have no trouble with the literal understanding of the Genesis stories. That is to say, if it all happened exactly as explained in Genesis based on our understanding of words like “day” and such, I’m good with it. This particular discussion demands faith from every angle, be it faith in the literal interpretation of Genesis, to faith in the abilities of imperfect man to determine the age of the universe. Forgive me if my faith in imperfect man isn’t strong enough to dismiss outright a literal interpretation of Genesis. My God is capable of great wonders, which could include creating all things in just the manner Genesis describes. That we can’t resolve that explanation with all we think we know about nature and science and physics is on us, not Him. The more sophisticated say that science has proven an old universe scenario. No it hasn’t, nor could it. Such a belief requires absolute certainty in man’s ability to look that far back, using whatever tools this imperfect being has created, without degradation—it is as accurate looking back millions of years as it is looking by five minutes. When has man demonstrated such omnipotence? This issue is moot in my mind. It is what we do now that matters.

    I also have no problem with the notion of non-meat eating creatures before the Fall, either. Gen 1:30 (if not already cited above) states: “And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” (I purposely chose this KJV version for its use of the word “meat”) While creatures were multiplying and filling the earth, there is no reason to believe that this means they would overcrowd the earth. Thus, they could multiply until there was enough to satisfy the command without their being a need for any to die.

    The point here is that it is fun to speculate on how the Genesis narrative could manifest “in the real world”, but that we might be unable to resolve that narrative with what we think we now know is of little concern to me. It could be absolutely true and at the same time, the best our best minds can discover is in contradiction to that narrative while being totally false. I sleep easily in either case.

  145. @Vince—Regarding your response to me of 1/9 @ 5:16PM

    Without worrying too much about who exactly who said exactly what, my concerns about what you think you’ve learned in your study of Scripture is the conclusions you’ve drawn because of that study. Dan claims to have studied as well and I have continually encouraged him to study harder and better due to the conclusions he has drawn.

    But my point dealt with your conclusion about God being a moral monster. This clearly indicates you failed to resolve your personal dislike for His methods. But to declare that He does not exist because of that is nonsensical. Adding that science and other studies indicated no evidence for His existence can be found requires ignoring the Bible itself. The Bible is indeed evidence as it is a collection of testimonies. And there is evidence that supports the credibility of those testimonies.

    You claim you were angry with God. Again, how petulant that you weren’t dealing with a Supreme Being that meets your lofty standards! What you call “monstrosity” is a misunderstanding of what His actions meant. In the simplest terms, any spanking your received as a child is indicative of the same monstrosity on a different level. Would you now die rather than honor your parents for any punishments they handed down?

    I find it incredibly sad that anyone would delude themselves as you have, regardless of how common it is. If you’d care to provide a link to anything that explains your transition in greater detail, I would be interested in perusing it. However, I can’t help but think it would only increase my sadness.

    You finished your response with this:

    “That God exists or not is irrelevant to my morals.”

    Without God, your morals are irrelevant.

  146. Dan asked this question:

    “I WOULD still be interested in knowing where anyone draws the line on what IS and isn’t reasonable to regulate, legislate, outlaw or ban when it comes to destructive tools, should anyone ever want to try to answer that question.”

    As it speaks to the topic of this post, it is worth answering.

    Any legislation that seeks to outlaw or regulate weaponry must begin at one spot: Each law abiding American adult has the right to defend life, family and property. To that Constitutionally acknowledged right is added the fact that all are innocent until proven guilty. To insist that some types of weaponry are too dangerous for the average person to own requires that each must be considered guilty of irresponsible, criminal or malicious behavior before the fact.

    I would much more favor laws that deny one’s rights to weaponry only after one has proven they are no longer worthy of having that right honored. If someone uses a weapon in the commission of a crime, they would from the moment of conviction, forever forfeit their right to own, carry or use a weapon. If someone is found irresponsible, such as by allowing access to their weapons by those found for whom access is unlawful, by the indiscriminate and negligent discharge of their weapons in public areas, etc. their right can be suspended or terminated (depending upon the details of the situation).

    But to deny a responsible law-abiding person the right to possess even fully automatic weapons is to assume they are likely to abuse that right. It is an unAmerican attitude with regards to one’s fellow citizen.

    Personally, I don’t find it necessary that ANYONE knows what kind of weapons I own, be that the neighbors or the government, with special emphasis on the government having no right to know. I don’t need a license or permission as I possess the right to bear arms. If I am suspected of abusing my right to own, then prove it. Until then, don’t worry about what I own.

    As my trust in God guarantees my eternal destination, I do not concern myself with judging every fellow citizen as dangerous just because they might be carrying an Uzi. What if they are? Am I to assume they mean to use it? Will I assume that because they are prepared to use it if necessary that it will be their first choice of action should a dangerous scenario manifest? I don’t think so. To think that way must also mean that every cop who carries on the job will shoot first. If it is not the case with cops, why would I think it would be so for anyone else?

    I also don’t think it is up to me to decide what weapon is the right weapon for anyone else. Some want to bring up nukes and bazookas. Who would carry these things for self protection? There is nothing rational about taking the discussion to such lengths.

    Finally, I would again address the notion of what Jesus would do. Would He find it problematic for one to possess an assault weapon? I don’t see that there’s any reason to suggest He would simply because of the weapon’s capabilities. I also think He’s wise enough to know whether or not one who wishes to own and carry one is reasonable in his reason for doing so. Weapons aren’t evil. Using them isn’t evil. The intention behind the use of weapons determines that.

  147. paynehollow says:

    ?

    Are you saying that you’d place no limitations on any weapons?

    You say about nukes and bazookas…

    Who would carry these things for self protection?

    I’m talking about limitations on items that potentially cause harm. I would posit that most right-thinking people don’t even think twice about the rationality and morality of saying, “SOME things need limitations. Cars, dynamite and bombs, for instance.”

    Do you think that some things can reasonably be limited and regulated, things that might be dangerous, for instance? On what basis would you place limitations?

    ~Dan

    • Dan

      Again…

      I’m talking about limitations on items that potentially cause harm.

      Hammers have the potential to cause more harm than a police baton. In my state non-law enforcement officers may not carry a police baton, it’s a felony. Anyone can own a hammer.

      By your logic, because it’s so intentionally vague, hammers should be regulated more than police batons. And extrapolating further, motor vehicles are even more POTENTIALLY dangerous than hammers, yet anyone who is old enough to own property may buy a car.

      So why not quit with the ambiguity and state your view already. Stop with the “surely y’all believe there should be SOME limits” and just state what YOU think those limits should be, and then explain why YOUR view on the limits aren’t arbitrary.

      I’m pretty sick of your game. So stop asking questions of others and pony up with an answer.

  148. Vince,

    I’m not too familiar with JW. Obviously, I’ve spoken with the door-to-door people but only briefly. They used to come over about once a week and read a Bible passage to me while standing on the porch, or inside if it was cold. They were nice people but a bit disconnected from reality, I thought. One time, they came upon me on a Sunday afternoon as I was heading out the door to work, much to their dismay. They couldn’t believe I actually worked on Sundays…

    I’ve read several issues of The Watchtower, whatever the door folk left me. I found intriguing articles but they weren’t enough to spark an interest in the faith itself. And truly, I much preferred speaking with the Mormons who also visited me. I let them give me their spiel on the Book of Mormon, but mostly we talked about video games. I explained that I was a former Catholic, current Lutheran, Wisconsin Synod, and perfectly happy with that choice. But I didn’t mind their visits.

    The Pastors at my church know I’m a big fan of biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, the whole shot. They also know I’m a big fan of atheist author Christopher Hitchens (RIP). And yet they still asked me to serve on their school board. So, they’re not stuck in the dark ages like many churches. Of course, they still believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis, but it’s not an issue of contention that I’ve found. For me, believing the earth is only 6,000 years old is sillier than inmates at a nervous hospital. I don’t accept that one must forgo common sense in order to be a good Christian, and I don’t believe my church expects one to.

    I don’t want to cause any confusion. It is not a liberal church in any way, shape, or form. It is a very conservative Lutheran church, but it’s not fundamentalist. And I wonder, Vince, had you grown up in a more moderate church environment, even one as conservative as mine, if you’d still be an atheist today…People who tell you that Christianity and science are at odds are simply wrong. Science doesn’t have to ruin faith. For me, it justifies it.

    And like you, I too had problems with the Old Testament. The God of the Old Testament didn’t seem to be very loving or good. But then I realized that without God, there is no basis upon which to categorize things as either good or evil. You certainly can’t use any sort of morality drawn from nature, since such systems are inherently unjust, selfish, and cruel (e.g., evolutionary morality).

    Furthermore, I was able to put God’s actions into context. The Flood, for example, is often cited as cruel and unjust. But was it? Not if you believe that the people were as bad as the Bible says they were.

    Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

    Context is everything. If I told you I pushed my wife, hollered at my son, and stole from my daughter, you’d probably think I was a dirtbag. But if I add context, you might think differently. If I told you, for example, that I pushed my wife out of the way of a falling tree branch, hollered “Good Job, Son” at my kid during a baseball game, and stole a peck on the cheek from my daughter, would you think the same? Doubtful. Like I said, context is everything. The people destroyed in the flood were evil.

    Matthew 10:34-39 also must be understood in context and in comparison with other passages. Christ consistently preached love, so why the change in Matthew 10:34-39? It’s not a change. We are supposed to hold God’s law above all else and if our families are behaving immorally, we have an obligation to speak up and say something, and turn away from them if they will not turn form their evil ways. The point is that your love of God should be so strong that your love for everything else resembles hatred by comparison. That’s all the passage means.

    The story of Revelation also must be understood in context. As in, Good versus Evil…And I think if you add context to your other objections, you’ll begin to understand that Christ is love. And what is the opposite of love? Hate. And I think we can both agree that “hate” should be destroyed. You call it an ultimatum, but truly, what’s wrong with it? If you love, you are loved. If you hate, you are hated.

    Lastly, most of your objections are not really objections to the Bible, but a faulty interpretation of the Bible. People say, for example, that one must believe in Christ to be saved. It’s true the Bible says this, but that isn’t the whole story. The Bible also talks about knowing God (Christ) from nature and the world around us. People who never experienced the Bible or the message of Christ are not destined for hell if they accept and show to others the love of God. But the way some fundamentalists tell it, you’d never know it. People who don’t believe in the Gospel, even if they’ve never heard it, are destined for hell, they say. It’s simply not true.

    And this isn’t the only example; there are dozens. Truthfully, the biggest problem for the Bible are people who misunderstand it, twist it, and, as we’ve seen it this thread, extract from it things that simply aren’t there.

    • I’m pretty familiar with the Watchtower Org and their theology. I’ve debated many of them. I don’t much care for them when the discussion becomes religious. They quickly become defensive when you cite particular issues of the watchtower showing failed prophesy, that condemn thinking for yourself, and others questionable teachings. I find they have little tolerance for a back and forth discussion, for example, if you want to discuss the nature of Jesus or the trinity, if youre not affirming their position and are trying to show them the doctrines of the divinity of Jesus and the trinity, they quickly want to leave or veer back to them teaching you.

      I engage them on the street when I see them going door to door and ask questions and ask for the latest watchtower. But unless it seems like youre asking because youre interested, they have no time for you. I asked one if I could share my view with him and he flat out told me no. He said it was like me wanting to trade the cash in my pocket for his, he already knows his money is real and doesnt want to take the chance that mine is counterfeit. He wouldnt even listen.

      I do think that at a certain hierarchy there is an intentional effort to mislead and brainwash the lower group. Theres an intentional effort that changes the text of the NWT because they know their theology is not found in the bible.

      Like I said, I dont care for how they are when it comes to religious discussion, but as people, they are very nice.

  149. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Who would carry these things for self protection?

    I will gladly answer this question, again, John. But why can’t you answer it, as well?

    Some tools/items/weapons have the potential for harm. Some, for great harm to innocent bystanders. Some, the potential to great harm to a great number of innocent bystanders.

    Some tools/items/weapons have great uses, as well. I’m talking about the balance between an item’s usefulness, the needfulness of the item and the potential for great harm, especially to a great number of people.

    A hammer has the potential for harm, but it is also a common tool. We (most of us) do need hammers on a regular basis. There is a great need for hammers. The potential for harm is there, but really, it’s only on a few people even if someone were intent on using it for harm.

    Dynamite has the potential for great harm to a great number of people. It is not a common tool, but it IS a tool that is regularly used, even if not by most of us. There is a need for it, but not by most of us. So, given the real need, BUT given the potential for harm, we rightly regulate it, allowing its use, but only in designated, regulated ways.

    The same is true for cars, even though its “need” is considered great by most. So, its use is rightly regulated and monitored, but at the same time, fairly easily accessed. We just regulate it and require licensing and a certain level of proven proficiency.

    For nuclear weapons, there is GREAT potential for harm and small “need” for personal use.

    Need vs potential harm.

    The less the need, the greater the potential harm, the more reasonable it is to have the item banned or licensed and regulated or just freely accessed.

    Is this an exact scale? No, of course not. I never said it was. I don’t know how you create an exact formula for an item’s needfulness vs its potential harm and come up with an entirely measurable scale. But even though it isn’t an exact scale, I think most of us can agree its a reasonable approach to the problem.

    So, since I do not have an exact formula, I am simply asking you all what is YOUR formula, your criteria, your scale by which you measure whether or not something should be regulated? It’s a reasonable question, given the topic, John.

    John….

    I’m pretty sick of your game. So stop asking questions of others and pony up with an answer.

    This is a bizarre response, John. I’ve answered the question to the best of my ability. Now, I’ve re-answered it. I’m just asking a reasonable question. How is that a “game” and why the hostility?

    ~Dan

    • Dynamite is very common, and so are guns. There are more than 300 million guns in America. But youve spent a lot of words to say nothing, like aq politicians speech. You are still being vague. fill in the blanks

      1 Americans should not be allowed to own _________ because __________.
      2 Many other common objects fit this criteria, but banning _________ is not arbitrary because _________.

  150. paynehollow says:

    Sorry, as you can see above, the first “John” quote was from somewhere else, not sure where that came from, but it was a simple mistake. I was responding to John’s question for me to answer the question. My apologies.

    But just to repeat the point, John says…

    And extrapolating further, motor vehicles are even more POTENTIALLY dangerous than hammers, yet anyone who is old enough to own property may buy a car.

    Yes, because society deems cars as very needful, we DO allow people to purchase them. But, there are restrictions on them, they are regulated. There are restrictions on how they’re made, how much they can pollute, how fast the can drive, who can drive them, etc. We require a modicum of demonstrated proficiency and a license to own them. Why? Because we hate freedom? No, simply because of the great potential for harm.

    If there was no need (or small need) for them, we would more tightly limit their usage, but we have deemed them is important for daily use, so we regulate and require licensing and limitations.

    On the other hand, there is not broadscale need for dynamite, so its usage and accessibility is even more tightly regulated. This seems rational to most of us.

    Similarly, a hunting rifle has been considered reasonably “needful” by many people and so we are not seeking limitations on them (although I imagine there are some regulations required in their purchase and usage).

    Contrariwise, society does not deem military-strength weaponry as needful in nearly the same degree, so we might reasonably expect more regulations on such tools.

    Need vs potential harm. Seems reasonable to me.

    One other notion to throw in the mix: IF there were ten cars/drivers in the state of Kentucky (and other states, as well), there would be MUCH LESS potential harm in their usage. Part of the danger of automobiles results from the personal autos ubiquitousness. The very popularity and considered “need” of these tools makes them potentially (actually) more harmful. So an items ubiquity might change the “formula” some, skewing towards more or less regulations/restrictions. This, too, seems reasonable.

    To me, anyway. What criteria do you have for restrictions or do you lean towards anarchy and the opinion that nothing should be restricted or regulated for law-abiders?

    ~Dan

    (as an aside, it seems odd to me that a police-style baton would be banned/limited, but I guess that could be attributed to society’s considered opinion that the “needfulness” side of the scale is extremely small…? For what it’s worth.)

    ~Dan

    • You did it again. Just fill in the blanks Dan:

      1 Americans should not be allowed to own _________ because __________.
      2 Many other common objects fit this criteria, but banning _________ is not arbitrary because _________.

  151. paynehollow says:

    John…

    You are still being vague.

    I am not being vague. I am telling you quite specifically that I DO NOT HAVE an exact formula for regulating/restricting some items. I don’t think we as a society have an exact formula. So far as I can tell, YOU don’t have an exact formula.

    That I do not have an exact formula does not negate the rationality of the notion that an item’s need can reasonably weighed against its potential harm in considering regulations/restrictions.

    John…

    fill in the blanks

    1 Americans should not be allowed to own _________ because __________.
    2 Many other common objects fit this criteria, but banning _________ is not arbitrary because _________.

    Americans should not be allowed to own nuclear weapons because the GREAT potential for GREAT and widespread harm (not exact, but potential death in the tens and hundreds of thousands, which IS great harm) is greater than any need for them might be.

    Americans should expect regulations and limitations on DYNAMITE because the great potential harm (dozens could be killed) is greater than the need for them is. We won’t ban dynamite entirely, but there will be tight limitations and licensing on who can use it and in what circumstances.

    Americans should expect regulations and limitations on machine guns because the great harm (dozens could be killed) is greater than any need for them might be. We won’t ban them outright, but there will be tight limitations and regulations and licensing on who can use them and where.

    Americans should not expect regulations and limitations on hammers because the potential harm (not great, but certainly, individuals could be individually harmed and even killed, one at a time) is not greater than the need for them.

    Like that. The greater the potential harm, the more reasonable limitations, regulations and restrictions on the item, depending on society’s consideration of their needfulness.

    Is that unreasonable? If so, how so?

    Do you support NO regulations or do you agree that we can reasonably put limitations and restrictions on some items. If you agree, then what is your criteria/scale/measure for when and where and how?

    Are you saying that if we don’t have some exact formula, then we should have NO regulations of anything?

    ~Dan

    • Now try answering with a weapon that people actually want to own. No one is clamoring for the right to own a nuke. STOP BEING AN ASS.

      Try again:
      1 Americans should not be allowed to own _________ because __________.
      2 Many other common objects fit this criteria, but banning _________ is not arbitrary because _________.

  152. paynehollow says:

    John, I’ve given a range of potential tools/items. Anything from a nuke, to a car, to dynamite, to machine gun to hunting rifle to a hammer. Some people want to own ALL these things (with hopefully the exception of a nuclear bomb). I mentioned specifically machine guns, which some people want to own. I’ve mentioned specifically various explosives which some people want to own. I’ve answered your question, I’m not sure what exactly are you looking for.

    Are you asking what I think should have a total ban? Missiles and various bombs.

    Beyond that, I favor regulations and restrictions, as I’ve offered.

    What am I not answering? Why the ugliness on this Good Lord’s Day?

    • Regulating certain things is banning them. As in you think I should be banned from owning a gun that holds 100 rounds and can shoot them all in 30 seconds.

      Your problem is you word your answers in such a way that you support banning a thing but think the thing shouldnt be banned but regulated. But regulation is a form of banning. Why cant you be straight?

      I want to won an automatic rifle. should I be allowed to own one? If not why not?
      I want to own a rifle that is functionally identical to a hunting rifle but looks like a military weapon. Should I be allowed to own one? If not why not. (Connecticut and California recently banned rifles that function identically to hunting rifles but look like military weapons)

  153. paynehollow says:

    Why can’t I be straight?

    What part of: I think that cars should be regulated and their usage restricted to certain licensed users… is NOT straight?

    What part of: I think dynamite and machine guns and missiles should be regulated, not freely available, and their usage restricted to certain licensed users… is NOT straight?

    I have no opinion on automatic rifles. I simply have no opinion. If pressed, I would say that I lean towards treating them in the same way as I think we should treat machine guns and dynamite – limited and regulated. But I really have not taken a stand on “automatic rifles.” If I had, I’d give you that opinion. I haven’t. That is Straight.

    WHERE specifically do you think I’m not being straight?

    In general, though, I support the right and responsibility of a Good people to regulate certain things for reasons I have given.

    Now I’ve answered and reanswered your questions. Can you answer mine? DO you support some regulations? IF SO, on what basis, or is it something similar to my reasoning?

    ~Dan

  154. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Your problem is you word your answers in such a way that you support banning a thing but think the thing shouldnt be banned but regulated.

    Banned means, “NO ACCESS. You can’t have this. Period. It’s BANNED.”

    I don’t believe in a dynamite, automobile or machine gun ban. I DO believe it is reasonable to regulate it and limit access to those who are properly licensed, tested and regulated. There is a difference between banning and regulated in the English language, John.

    Do I support increased restrictions for increased dangers (especially where there is no great need)? Yes, I have been quite clear about that.

    Now, how about being straight yourself? Marshall has even agreed, answering the question, “On what basis do we regulate items?” is a reasonable question to be answered in this conversation.

    ~Dan

  155. The comparison between cars and weaponry fails due to the Constitutional aspect of the question. The 2nd Amendment protects the right to bear arms. No part of the Constitution addresses modes of travel. To license and regulate a car does not interfere with a Constitutionally protected right, whereas regulating weaponry does. The 2nd does not dictate what an individual can or cannot decide is an appropriate weapon for one’s self defense. Yet, a Supreme Court justice in the late 1700’s ruled that all law-abiding men should own and be able to operate the most state of the art firearm that could be afforded. Today, that would mean a fully automatic weapon. I cannot believe by any surviving writings or speeches of the founding era that the focus was ever on the weapon chosen, but the quality of the man doing the choosing. And once again, since the ownership of weapons by the citizenry was seen as a check on a government that would would slide into despotism, it makes little sense that the government should regulate ownership at all outside of the criminal and mentally unstable. If the government has my ownership information, then, while sliding toward the despotic, the government would know who possesses weapons they would confiscate.

    On the other hand, if a gun owner proves himself criminal or mentally unstable, no one would take issue with the government for confiscation of that person’s weapons, especially since incarceration would be included (or mandated for a second offense, as the case may be).

    This perspective is supported by the vast numbers of registered owners not committing crimes, while the vast numbers of gun related crimes are by those ignoring gun control laws.

  156. John,

    I’ve only met a few different JWs. It was always the same people who came to my house, so I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to more than three or four of them. However, one of the door folk was a wonderful woman. She was an elderly African-American lady who was very sweet every time she came over. And she didn’t hound. Many times, she just stopped by to ask how we were doing. Very nice woman.

    One of the other door folk, however, I can imagine being something close to the jerk you encountered on the street. You should have heard him when he found out I was heading to work on a Sunday. Shocked, he was. “You work ON SUNDAYS?”

    I was like, “Um, yeah.”

    • Dont mistake me (or I wasnt clear) the guy wasnt a jerk, just stubborn and very close-minded.

      I have JWs in my family. I gave my cousin some books on The Watchtower. My aunt found them and put them in a paper bag telling my cousin if they werent out of the house in an hour she would burn them.

      They just arent open to criticism and get very defensive when you want to veer off the topic to explain your view. Their tolerance lessens as they see you are experienced and knowledgable about the watchtower.

  157. paynehollow says:

    John…

    What specific regulative parameters for machine guns do you support, and what is your justification?

    In case you can’t tell yet, I have no great specific opinions about gun control. I’m not a “gun control” advocate. It is not an area I’ve researched thoroughly or about which I’m especially concerned. I was merely noting the reasonable claim that we all (most of us) support regulations of weaponry (and other dangerous items) to some degree or another. It isn’t a question of whether or not there should be regulations for potentially very dangerous tools and weapons, it’s just a question of where we draw the line.

    This is just a commonsense, common understanding of what we should do.

    I further opined as to WHY we all (most of us) believe that it is okay to regulate/restrict/license dangerous items: As a matter of balancing harm vs needfulness: The greater the potential harm, the more reasonable limitations, regulations and restrictions on the item, depending on society’s consideration of their needfulness.

    I have NO specific opinions about regulations on machine guns, beyond the general: I think some limitations are reasonable.

    I have NO formula for an exact ratio of potential harm vs needfulness, just a general belief that this is generally an accurate assessment of where society stands, and the belief that this is reasonable.

    I’ve answered and re-answered your questions, John. I’ve answered additional questions. Would you please, sir, take the time to answer my questions? Here they are again:

    DO you support some regulations on weaponry and potentially dangerous items/tools like dynamite, automobiles, ?

    IF SO, on what basis, or is it something similar to my reasoning?

    What part of: I think that cars should be regulated and their usage restricted to certain licensed users… is NOT straight?

    What part of: I think dynamite and machine guns and missiles should be regulated, not freely available, and their usage restricted to certain licensed users… is NOT straight?

    The greater the potential harm, the more reasonable limitations, regulations and restrictions on the item, depending on society’s consideration of their needfulness.

    Is that unreasonable? If so, how so?

    Take turns, please.

    ~Dan

    • Why wont you be specific? Why do you keep using words like ‘reasonable’ and ‘common sense’ when you full well know not everyone has the same opinion as to what is reasonable and common sensical?

      Since you refuse, I’ll have to ignore your comments until you can figure out what you’re advocating for.

  158. paynehollow says:

    John, I AM being specific. MY very specific opinion is that I don’t have a specific opinion about what regulations there should be on machine guns. I HAVE NO SPECIFIC OPINIONS. What do you want me to do? Make some up?

    I’m talking about the principle of the question because, even though I don’t have specific opinions, we can and should be able to talk about principles. Of the topics I tend to deal with – peacemaking, Bible study, Christian ethics, marriage equity, etc – gun control is not one I normally deal with or hold any great specific opinions on. Why do you want me to answer a specific question I have no specific opinions on?

    I have answered your questions, John. Why won’t you answer mine? It’s a reasonable question for this topic.

    Or don’t. I’m just saying here is a reasonable on topic question. Deal with it or not.

    I sort of expect that you probably agree with me in principle, because what kind of anarchist fool wouldn’t agree with this reasonable principle? But you tell me. Or not.

    ~Dan

  159. paynehollow says:

    I’m talking about the principle John, not about the specifics.

    You see, in life, we who are concerned about ethical, moral living usually begin with principles, first. What are the principles we live by? Do no harm? That’s a good one. Tell no lies? That’s a good one. There are plenty of others.

    So, does the principle “do no harm” mean that we never do ANYthing that might hurt someone else? Not give a shot of medicine to save a life? Not stop a bully beating up someone else for fear of harming the bully? Once we have the principle, then we can work out the specifics in a rational, step by step manner.

    Some here have seemed to take objection to my principle – that we can reasonably regulate things that cause harm to others; that we can reasonably limit items based on a weighing of potential harm vs needfulness of the item. This is my way of explaining why we ban nuclear bomb or missile ownership while we don’t ban or limit hammers.

    What is YOUR reason for why we ban the one but not the other? I’ve offered mine.

    Are you saying that you have no principles that guide you and you just go on a gut feeling with each topic? Or entirely by whim of how you feel that day?

    Answer or don’t. I don’t care and have no more time.

    ~Dan

  160. There is no potential in any weapon. There is only potential in the person wielding the weapon. As long as there is a specifically enumerated right to bear arms, the only principle germane to the discussion is whether one is a law-abiding, responsible citizen. To restrict any weapon based upon subjective ideas regarding the weapon’s capabilities infringes upon the rights of law-abiding, responsible citizens to decide for themselves what weapons are most appropriate for their defense against threats to their lives and liberties.

    When we consider the fact that more people are murdered (or illegally killed) through the use of hands than the use of rifles and “assault weapons”, potential harm is always a matter of the individual, not the means by which an individual might take lives.

  161. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    There is only potential in the person wielding the weapon. As long as there is a specifically enumerated right to bear arms, the only principle germane to the discussion is whether one is a law-abiding, responsible citizen.

    Do you then advocate that it be legal for citizens to own bombs and missiles with no restrictions or regulations, as long as they are law-abiding and responsible?

    Marshall…

    To restrict any weapon based upon subjective ideas regarding the weapon’s capabilities infringes upon the rights of law-abiding, responsible citizens to decide for themselves what weapons are most appropriate for their defense against threats to their lives and liberties.

    ? So, are you saying we should be able to have ANY dangerous weapons as long as we’re law-abiding or are you saying you have some objective idea as to what should and shouldn’t be limited?

    I have to say that it SOUNDS like you all are saying (in the absence of any clear statements) that there should be NO limitations of any sorts on any weapons. IS that what you’re saying?

    IF so, do you recognize that the vast majority of humanity would no doubt find that insane?

    ~Dan

  162. As with other issues, Dan, right and wrong do not depend on majority vote. What is right or wrong is right or wrong regardless of how many people agree. Thus, I’m not concerned if the whole world disagreed with me on a point, but only whether that point is indeed right or wrong.

    But here is something else that is insane: constantly thinking you’re clarifying an issue by introducing the wildest extreme into the discussion. I think your constant references to bombs and missiles is idiotic unless you can paint a scenario by which a responsible, law-abiding citizen might wish to defend himself by the use of either.

    At the same time, what fear do you have of a responsible law-abiding citizen in possession of, say, a rocket launcher? Would a responsible, law-abiding citizen be likely to fire one to stop a burglary of his home? Would he carry one to ward off gang-bangers whilst doing dinner and theater with his wife? How about grenades? In what way would the average person use grenades to fend off the common threats under which the average person lives?

    Still, keep in mind that the 2nd Amendment was meant as a check on the power of government, and what better way to keep our government in check than for citizens to own their own aircraft carrier groups?

    Now think of each of these weapons and tell me which one has the capability of just going off all by itself. If none of them is so capable, then none of them carries any potential for harm. That would require someone to use the weapon with malicious intent or recklessly. Neither suggests a responsible law-abiding citizen. So where’s your problem exactly?

  163. paynehollow says:

    My problem is that you and John and your comrades are entirely incapable, it would appear, of answering a direct, simple, salient question. And you SHOULD be worried primarily about what is right and wrong, BUT, if you want to make your case to a wider audience beyond fellow fringe dwellers, you should also want to be able to make your case in a rational and moral manner.

    One way of doing that is directly answering questions that have been asked.

    And are you SERIOUS about letting citizens at large have aircraft carriers??

    It appears that you ARE an anarchist at least on this point and that there appear to be NO regulations as regarding weapons that you think is rational or moral or reasonable. That being the case, the vast majority of the world WILL dismiss your opinions as the irrelevant ravings of a madman.

    The problem with making yourself out to be a madman is that it undermines even the more rational folks who lean your way. “These guys want to legalize nukes and personal aircraft carriers… Man, what whackos…”

    Fortunately for the rest of us, people like you aren’t credible and are just ignored in the marketplace of reasonable ideas.

    ~Dan

  164. paynehollow says:

    How about other conservatives here? Will NO ONE disavow the crazy anarchist notion of NO limitations of any sort on any weapons (well, except that criminals can’t have them)?

    Is there NO ONE here who can say, “Here is where we can reasonably draw the line…” and advocate for reasonable gun ownership, but not unlimited hedonism when it comes to weapons?

  165. Dan,

    You want to talk about crazy? That would be applying the term “anarchist” to one whose principles begin with personal liberty. You know, what the founders risked so much to attain.

    You have failed to describe at any level what in your opinion would constitute “reasonable” gun ownership and why. It seems you don’t like the thought of bombs, missiles, nukes or aircraft carriers, but you don’t even describe a scenario by which any of those would ever be considered reasonable to carry or possess for common self-defense.

    You dare talk about crazy all the while ascribing “potential harm” to inanimate objects like fully automatic weapons. Your every comment suggests a personal threat from your closest neighbor possessing an Uzi. Where’s the grace in assuming the worst about your neighbor, and worse, others you don’t even know?

    This disconnect has appeared before in conversations regarding terrorism and fanatical islamists. Those of us who raise awareness of such threats are accused of paranoia by the very same people who see immense dangers in law-abiding, responsible possessing weapons for self-defense. Amazing!

  166. Suppose Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruises, or some other private company put a helipad on the deck of some of their cruise ships, with room enough to hold three or four choppers or VTOL planes, fuel, and equipment for basic maintenance.

    Or suppose a billionaire bought one of those superyachts with a helipad.

    In both cases, we would have — strictly speaking — privately owned aircraft carriers, i.e., ships that are capable of carrying aircraft.

    Disney would have aircraft carriers! Bill Gates would have a personal aircraft carrier!

    Oh noes!! Anarchists! Whackos! MADMEN!

  167. Dan:

    Very early on in this conversation, you write that you think “that we can reasonably place some restrictions on firearm ownership, just not because it will necessarily reduce killings.”

    You then write another 33 comments or so, explaining that it’s about a balance between the dangers a weapon poses (even beyond crime statistics) and the “need” for the weapon (even though you evidently believe that weapons are never needed), and conceding the right to self-defense but still not acknowledging the right to own weapons for self-defense.

    You finally get around to addressing what specific restrictions you would support: you don’t know.

    MY very specific opinion is that I don’t have a specific opinion about what regulations there should be on machine guns. I HAVE NO SPECIFIC OPINIONS.

    THREE COMMENTS LATER, you gripe about how others “are entirely incapable, it would appear, of answering a direct, simple, salient question.”

    You continue with the next comment:

    Is there NO ONE here who can say, ‘Here is where we can reasonably draw the line…’ and advocate for reasonable gun ownership, but not unlimited hedonism when it comes to weapons?

    You first, jackass.

    If you don’t know what “reasonable” gun restrictions actually look like, with any specificity, then your statement about how you support reasonable restrictions is an empty platitude: no one would ever describe their own position as unreasonable.

    It’s obvious you’re not interested in defending any actual policies; you just want to demagogue people who belief in the right to bear arms: we’re hedonists and anarchists even though we believe in enacting and enforcing laws against actual crimes — theft, assault, and murder, y’know, ACTUAL HARM which you invoke as a principle when it suits you — whether those crimes were committed with firearms, blunt objects, or bare hands.

    You’re wasting everyone’s time.

  168. “And are you SERIOUS about letting citizens at large have aircraft carriers??”

    Before I answer this, allow me to stipulate that this is in fact an incredibly stupid question.

    Given that, I’ll go ahead.

    My answer is, sure, why not. All an aircraft carrier is, is a big boat. As long as one has the funds to purchase and staff an aircraft carrier, I can see no inherent harm in someone owning one. Obviously the owner would be bound by any and all regulations and laws regarding and operating boats, but as a boat (any boat) really poses no inherent risk to anyone (or at least no more risk than any other similarly sized craft), there seems to be no good reason not to allow anyone to own one.

    A boat, you see, is inherently an inanimate object. Therefore, it poses no risk to anyone until it is used by someone in a way that is harmful.

    As you point out, you are fairly ignorant on the this subject, so your opinions may or may not reflect the reality.

    For example it is perfectly legal for private citizens to own many of the items that get your panties in a wad.
    machine guns-legal
    cannon-legal
    M203 grenade launcher-
    20mm cannon-legal
    flame throwers-legal
    tank-legal
    battleship-legal

    So despite the allegedly grave dangers posed by these inanimate objects they are all legal for private ownership. To be fair, there are a number of regulations governing those who would own these items, but the items themselves are legal for ownership.

    As to where to draw the line, it seems like most people (including you) would draw the line when something is used to cause actual harm to an actual person. Why, would I draw the line there, it’s simple. What needs to be regulated are the actions of people, so based on that anarchist principle of “innocent until proven guilty”, it seems reasonable that any citizen who has a demonstrated history of following the law shouldn’t be unduly restricted until he or she proves otherwise. Do you really think that the police should be handing out tickets for “potential” speeding? How about locking some guy of for “potential” murder? Seriously, you have yet to demonstrate where you would draw the line, while demanding that we answer that very question. Why not answer it yourself? How is it that you are quite wedded to the principle of “actual harm” when it seems to support your hunches, yet willing to regulate based on “potential” harm when it suits you. Seems like your commitment to “actual’ harm is pretty flexible and doesn’t actually rise to the level of a “principle”.

    The most bizarre thing of all is that you whine over and over for “proof”, yet almost without fail when proof is provided, you choose to ignore it. Bubba, may be right that ant engagement with you is a waste of time.

  169. Did my comment from earlier get lost in moderation?

  170. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    To be fair, there are a number of regulations governing those who would own these items, but the items themselves are legal for ownership.

    I never said they were illegal, did I?

    I never said they should be banned, did I?

    I said we the people can reasonably have reasonable regulations and restrictions when it comes to dealing with items/tools/weapons that are potentially dangerous.

    And, lest you all fail to understand the point again, I’ll clarify: When I say, “they are potentially dangerous” what I mean (which seems obvious to me, but I’ll clarify, since you all seem to miss the point entirely) is, “potentially dangerous WHEN USED INCORRECTLY or in a wrong manner…”

    It may surprise you to realize this, but I and the rest of the world fully realize that cars, weapons, bombs, etc, are not robots with wills and intentions of their own, seeking to destroy the world. I did not think otherwise. Given that obvious reality, I thought it would be abundantly clear to any rational reader that saying “they are potentially dangerous” MEANS “…when used incorrectly.”

    But now, for your sake, I have clarified.

    And Craig, you make my point for me: These weapons ARE regulated. That is what I am saying is reasonable. You all (many here, I don’t know about you), SEEM to think that there should be NO regulations on these potentially dangerous items/tools (*see above, if you are unclear on the meaning).

    Craig…

    it seems reasonable that any citizen who has a demonstrated history of following the law shouldn’t be unduly restricted until he or she proves otherwise.

    I do not find that reasonable in the slightest. Automobiles are regulated so that you can’t use them until you have proven a level of proficiency, how to use the vehicle, are licensed and insured. This is reasonable, given the potential harm that can come from the vehicle (see the explanatory note above if you are unclear on the meaning there).

    Dynamite is regulated and restricted to only those with a need and necessary licensing, if I’m not mistaken, no doubt, along with other restrictions. THIS is reasonable, even if that person has not proven otherwise.

    Nuclear weapons and missiles, these are reasonably VERY restricted/banned because of the potential harm. I don’t care if St Francis of Assisi and Mother Terese come back from the dead and want to buy them, it’s not a good idea to allow even GOOD people unrestricted access to just any weapons. Do you think otherwise? Or do you agree with me that some very restrictive limitations are reasonable even for good people, because of the potential for harm?

    I can’t really believe that any reasonable people would disagree with the principle I’m advocating.

    ~Dan

  171. paynehollow says:

    Thanks, by the way, Craig, for answering the question I was asking. You asked…

    Do you really think that the police should be handing out tickets for “potential” speeding?

    No. Do you really think that the police should NOT be stopping people who are trying to get nuclear weapons? Even if they are “good” people with no record of wrong doing?

    How about locking some guy of for “potential” murder?

    No. How about locking up some guy for buying germ warfare material, even though he hasn’t done anything?

    Seriously, you have yet to demonstrate where you would draw the line, while demanding that we answer that very question. Why not answer it yourself?

    I’m talking about the principle, trying to figure out if we are agreeing on the principle first. Once we establish the principle, then we can start talking specifics, but I think it is rational to establish the principles we are working under first.

    Craig…

    How is it that you are quite wedded to the principle of “actual harm” when it seems to support your hunches, yet willing to regulate based on “potential” harm when it suits you.

    In the case of more dangerous weaponry, the potential harm is very great AND the needfulness is very small. THAT is the balance that I’m speaking of that you have not addressed (and maybe that’s because “needfulness” doesn’t play into it for you, you tell me – but it does for me).

    There is very little/no rational need for nukes, missiles, bombs, aircraft carriers (with all the implied weaponry that goes with that), tanks, machine guns, rocket launchers…

    It can be argued that there is some rational support for cars, hunting rifles and even pistols and other “self-defense” types of guns (for those who live in fear of needing one “just in case…”), while the potential for great harm is less.

    It can be easily argued that there is great and widespread rational need for hammers, knives, screwdrivers or chisels, while the potential for great harm is even less.

    Three rough levels there, three levels of potential harm, three levels of needfulness… I think three rough levels of regulations/limitations/restrictions. I think if you ask most people, this is the reason we support regulations, licensing, restrictions in some cases and not others – this potential harm vs needfulness scale.

    Do you disagree and think this is unreasonable?

    ~Dan

  172. I never said they were illegal, did I? Not exactly.

    I never said they should be banned, did I? Not exactly.

    What you did do was to imply that allowing ownership of “aircraft carriers” (and by extension other military hardware” was somehow outlandish. See below.

    “And are you SERIOUS about letting citizens at large have aircraft carriers??”

    My response was not only do we allow people to own aircraft carriers, but other military hardware as well.

    “I do not find that reasonable in the slightest. Automobiles are regulated so that you can’t use them until you have proven a level of proficiency, how to use the vehicle, are licensed and insured. ”

    Actually, to be factually correct, (as you pointed out) it is not the automobiles that are regulated it is the drivers. The driver must demonstrate a level of proficiency, not the automobile. Also, the automobile does not procure it’s own license and insurance the driver does. It seems germane to note that the license is almost purely a device to collect the annual taxes, and the insurance is much more related to the history or age of the driver than it is to the vehicle.

    I would be perfectly willing to consider a similar licensing situation for certain weapons as for cars. In other words as long as you meet certain requirements (age, demonstrated skill level, good mental health, no criminal record, etc), anyone should be able to own anything they have the ability to own. I suspect, you would not find that acceptable. I’d suggest that it maybe demonstrates a degree of a double standard, but whatever.

    “Or do you agree with me that some very restrictive limitations are reasonable even for good people, because of the potential for harm?”

    I’d agree that there should be restrictions on people, not inanimate objects. I can see increasing levels of restriction, but I’m not sure I’d flat out ban anything short of nukes. But the continued use of nukes as an example is just silly anyway.

    ‘Do you really think that the police should NOT be stopping people who are trying to get nuclear weapons? Even if they are “good” people with no record of wrong doing?”

    The whole nuclear canard is just silly, please stop. You are the one advocating that “potential harm” be regulated/criminalized, not me.

    “How about locking up some guy for buying germ warfare material, even though he hasn’t done anything?”

    I’d guess that context might play a role here, but under certain circumstances I could see it. Obviously, this presumes that the germ warfare material is legal to own. In my actual real world examples, I stuck to items that actually can be owned legally, not fanciful worst case scenarios.

    “…but I think it is rational to establish the principles we are working under first.”

    I agree. The problem is that you have consistently advocated the principle that “actual harm” is your threshold for action. Now you are advocating a different principle, “potential harm”. Why the inconsistency? Why not pick a principle and stick with it?

    As far as your “need” standard. Since when have we in the US been limited to what we need. Who get’s to determine what someone “needs”. Seriously, one of the great things about a country like ours is that we have the freedom to pursue what we want, not simply have some third party determine what they think we need. Do you think you are qualified to determine what someone else “needs”?

    In closing, I have stated that I see no reason not to regulate these items, however I also see no reason to regulate them to the point of a de facto ban. I’ll stipulate that NBC weapons are in a different category, and require more stringent regulations, but I would be loathe to deny someone the ability of own something if they can do it safely and without harming anyone.

  173. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Actually, to be factually correct, (as you pointed out) it is not the automobiles that are regulated it is the drivers. The driver must demonstrate a level of proficiency, not the automobile. Also, the automobile does not procure it’s own license and insurance the driver does.

    Actually, to be factually correct, both the car and the drivers (and the owners, if that’s someone separate) are all regulated. Cars have to meet certain specifications before they are considered street legal. Cars have to be licensed (and to be sure, people have to do the licensing, but that is obvious, isn’t it – it doesn’t really need to be pointed out, does it?).

    Craig…

    I would be perfectly willing to consider a similar licensing situation for certain weapons as for cars. In other words as long as you meet certain requirements (age, demonstrated skill level, good mental health, no criminal record, etc), anyone should be able to own anything they have the ability to own. I suspect, you would not find that acceptable.

    “…as long as they have the ability to own” AND are registered and licensed and insured…? If so, yes, we agree, for certain weapons.

    Craig…

    anyone should be able to own anything they have the ability to own. I suspect, you would not find that acceptable.

    “own ANYTHING they have the ability to own…”? Do you really mean that? Including nuclear weapons, including nerve gases?

    I do not think that the “freedom” to own weapons or tools that can cause harm is unlimited. Do you? I think it is rational to place limitations on what weapons can be owned, even to the point of banning or near-banning. NO citizen should be able to own nukes or nerve gas, just to have around their house. No one. I would say that it is crazy to think otherwise. I have to think that you agree with me on this point:

    DO you agree that SOME limitations – even to the point of a ban – are reasonable?

    Craig…

    I can see increasing levels of restriction, but I’m not sure I’d flat out ban anything short of nukes. But the continued use of nukes as an example is just silly anyway.

    Why? It helps illustrate the principles we are entering into the conversation with. IF we all agree that SOME limitations (even to the point of a ban) are reasonable, then it is just a matter of where we draw the line and what principles help us decide how and where to draw the line. What is silly about that?

    Craig…

    The problem is that you have consistently advocated the principle that “actual harm” is your threshold for action. Now you are advocating a different principle, “potential harm”. Why the inconsistency?

    Different topic, different rules. You’re comparing apples and oranges. IF we are talking about lollipops and gum drops, then YES, actual harm is a threshhold for action. But we are not speaking about lollipops and gum drops, we are talking about weapons with great potential for harm.

    Principles often change depending on the topic, nothing inconsistent about that. Indeed, it would be irrational and unprincipled to apply the same principle threshold for lollipops as for machine guns.

    No inconsistency there.

    Craig…

    Since when have we in the US been limited to what we need. Who get’s to determine what someone “needs”.

    Well, apparently you. You agree with me that we CAN limit nukes (and I’m sure if pressed, you could agree with nerve gases and other items with vast potential danger). Our founders may not have had to worry about tools that could poison whole ecosystems or destroy whole towns, so WE sometimes need to decide what can be limited or outright banned. And it would appear you agree with me.

    You and I have agreed on the principle, now we can start getting to details of what is reasonable needfulness vs too great a potential for harm. Or, do you have some other standard/principle for making these decisions? This has been my question all along.

    If you don’t agree with my suggested harm vs needfulness scale for deciding when we need to more strictly regulate/restrict something, then tell me: What is your criteria?

    Craig…

    In my actual real world examples, I stuck to items that actually can be owned legally, not fanciful worst case scenarios.

    They are illegal to own because WE, the people have decided that we can greatly restrict some items/tools/weapons. That is the point, Craig. We DON’T just allow anyone to have just anything. We CAN reasonably place restrictions on items. That is the point being made and the one that some people here seem to be arguing against.

    ~Dan

    • Dan

      You can buy a car in any condition. Street legal or not. Now you are making our point. Street legal is analogous to shooting only in proper circumstances, ie defense or sport. So a weapon’s use is already regulated.

      Still waiting for a plain english answer to my questions.

  174. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I’ll stipulate that NBC weapons are in a different category, and require more stringent regulations, but I would be loathe to deny someone the ability of own something if they can do it safely and without harming anyone.

    Okay, so we agree on the principle that

    1. SOME categories of weapons/tools/items can be quite stringently regulated, even to the point of banning or near-banning.

    Right?

    2. We agree that NBC is a category of weapons that should be nearly banned/tightly regulated/even illegal to own.

    Right?

    So, on what basis do you want to “deny law abiding citizens” the “right” to buy what they want when they have done nothing to warrant such a ban?

    I have tried to articulate this with my risk of harm vs needfulness scale and I think that is reasonable and probably what most people would point to, as well, but I’m open to other suggestions.

    3. I, too, am loathe to deny anyone the right to own something they can own safely without placing others at too great a risk (which is how I’d phrase it). Nuclear weapons, as an example, would be one item that would place others at too great a risk for a variety of reasons I’ve offered already. Biological weapons would be another example.

    I don’t think machine guns fit into the category of NBC, but I do think that missiles do. Hand grenades come closer than machine guns, but I might allow some access, with appropriate restrictions and demonstrated reasonable need. I just don’t happen to think, “Hey! It would be really COOL to have hand grenades and stuff, right?!! We could TOTALLY blow stuff up, then, Dude!!” is a reasonable need.

    Perhaps we agree more than you think.

    At least on the principle, if not the line.

    So, what principle are you advocating bans/strict limitations based upon?

    ~Dan

  175. paynehollow says:

    It may be helpful to consider dynamite for a minute. I went to the ATF page and found this partial bit of info about some of the rules, regulations, limitations and restrictions as it applies to dynamite…

    http://www.atf.gov/explosives/how-to/explosive-storage-requirements.html

    There are a bunch of rules. The average person can’t just go get it, as I understand it. They have to get a license, have a specific purpose for it, store it in quite specific manner, use it in prescribed ways, etc. If you use it safely (ie, no one gets hurt), but NOT in accordance to these specific regulations, you get in trouble.

    What do you think the philosophy is behind the reasoning for these rules? Do you think there is an intent to stifle the second amendment? OR, do you agree that a reasonable people can put reasonable – maybe even restrictive – limitations on SOME items because of, 1. Their potential for great harm and 2. There not being a general need for the weapon/tool/item?

    Why do we treat dynamite this way and not, say, a chainsaw, which ALSO could do great harm to a great many people (one or two at a time)… with enough effort and luck?

    ~Dan

    • Why do we treat dynamite and other things differently from tools? Im glad you finally are asking us the same question we’ve been asking you. But we wont call it ridiculous like you did.

      The answer is that liberals are emotionally reactive. They ban things based on feelings. Thats why a bushmaster AR15 is banned in CT but not a hunting rifle that uses identical ammo and identically finctions as a hunting rifle. It LOOKS like an assault weapon. Thats liberalism.

      Liberals ban cell phones while driving but not having children in the car even though kids are more than 10 times more distracting. Its not about the safety. Thats liberalism.

      The danger is not in the thing. The danger is in the person using the thing. Regulate the person, not the thing.

  176. “Cars have to meet certain specifications before they are considered street legal.”

    Yet, it is quite possible to purchase and operate a car that is not street legal. Further, the car regulations are applied across the board to all cars, the driver and insurance regulations are individual. If anything this undermines your point. The equivalent situations would be that all firearms must function properly and meet certain uniform standards. This is not a safety issue.

    “Do you really mean that? Including nuclear weapons, including nerve gases?”

    Had you paid attention to my earlier comment, you would realize how foolish this question is.

    “DO you agree that SOME limitations – even to the point of a ban – are reasonable?”

    Had you paid attention to my earlier comment, you would realize how foolish this question is. I even gave specifics, something you have yet to do.

    “What is silly about that?”

    Your continued uses of the most egregious unrealistic example possible, instead of dealing with real world examples of things that people actually can own.

    “No inconsistency there.”

    In your opinion.

    “If you don’t agree with my suggested harm vs needfulness scale for deciding when we need to more strictly regulate/restrict something, then tell me: What is your criteria?”

    A. you haven’t provided a scale that can be evaluated or agreed to.
    B. You didn’t answer the question asked.

    “They are illegal to own…”

    Except I used examples of items that actually in a factual real world ARE legal to own. You keep wanting to go into some place that doesn’t exist in the real world.

    “So, on what basis do you want to “deny law abiding citizens”…”

    You must be confused, I am not advocating denying anyone’s rights, you seem to be. To be clear I have no desire to deny law abiding citizens anything that is lawful for them to own.

    “I have tried to articulate this with my risk of harm vs needfulness scale…”

    Except you have not actually provided any sort of actual scale that can be evaluated. Further, you have yet to provide any grounding that allows you or any other third party to decide what someone else needs or doesn’t need.

    “I don’t think machine guns fit into the category of NBC,…”

    Since NBC has a specific meaning that specifically doesn’t include firearms, only one who is ignorant would think so.

    “…but I do think that missiles do”

    You could argue that the missile payloads can fit into the NBC category, missiles (by definition) do not. It doesn’t matter what you think, since terms have actual meanings and NBC (by definition) would exclude missiles.

    “Hand grenades come closer than machine guns, but I might allow some access, with appropriate restrictions and demonstrated reasonable need. I just don’t happen to think, “Hey! It would be really COOL to have hand grenades and stuff, right?!! We could TOTALLY blow stuff up, then, Dude!!” is a reasonable need.”

    A. Hand grenades are legal
    B. You still haven’t explained why you (or anyone else) get’s to determine need. Or why in a free country, we are to be limited only to what we “need”.

    “So, what principle are you advocating bans/strict limitations based upon?”

    Since I’ve already laid out my views on this matter as well as some specific lines I would support (still waiting for you to do the same). I see no reason to use my limited time to repeat myself.

    RE: Dynamite. I have said multiple times that people should be allowed to purchase things that are legal to purchase. Dynamite is legal to purchase (within limits), therefore I don’t see the problem,. Interestingly, based on your summary of the rules, it would seem safe to say that the majority of the rules apply to the animate user, than to the inanimate object.

  177. paynehollow says:

    So, on what basis do you all want to ban things? What is your criteria for not allowing or restricting use and/or purchase? What is the principle you all are advocating?

    If you could answer those questions, we could evaluate the rationality and consistency of your position. If not, I reckon we are done.

    ~Dan

    • Dan

      You wont even give a hard answer to what YOU want. You only say you want reasonable and common sense regulations. How about you go first so we can evaluate the rationality of your position.

  178. “What do you think the philosophy is behind the reasoning for these rules?”

    The reasoning behind these rules (all of which govern the actions of the people using the explosives not the explosives per se) is to ensure that the explosives are stored in a manner that is safe and secure.

    “Do you think there is an intent to stifle the second amendment?”

    No, I don’t usually consider tools to be covered by the 2nd Amendment.

    “Why do we treat dynamite this way and not, say, a chainsaw, which ALSO could do great harm to a great many people (one or two at a time)… with enough effort and luck?”

    “Different topic, different rules. You’re comparing apples and oranges. IF we are talking about lollipops and gum drops, …”

    This is a bizarre and silly comparison. these two things are not regulated in the same way because they are not the same. Of course you acknowledge that in your poorly conceived comparison.

  179. paynehollow says:

    okay, for a real and hard example, look at my dynamite link. Those seem like reasonable regulations and restrictions to me. Do you disagree?

    I imagine it might vary with the gun/weapon/tool being discussed. If I’m not mistaken, there are different rules/regulations/restrictions for a tank than there are for a machine gun, than there are for a hunting rifle. I currently have no beef with any of the specifics, but neither am I informed as to the specifics. At this point, I’m not talking about specifics, I’m speaking about the principle that guides are reasoning.

    My question to you all is, On what grounds do you support banning some items, limiting/restricting/regulating other items and having no restrictions on yet other items?

    OR, do you think that any and all items – no matter of how potentially dangerous they might be if used improperly – should all be freely available like gum drops from a candy store?

    I’m just trying to understand what your reasoning/rationale is, what you do and don’t support. I’m not looking for your specifics, I’m looking for the principles that would guide your reasoning. I’ve given you mine, what’s yours?

    Why not answer the question? IF mine is problematic, then answer THAT and say why specifically it’s problematic. If it’s too vague, then say so and say what your guiding principles are so I can be enlightened.

    It’s conversation, people. Make your case or don’t complain about others’ principles.

    ~Dan

    • Dan. Seriously, cut the shit with the dynamite. No citizen is claiming he should have the right to defend himself with dynamite. We’re talking guns.

      So help me if you keep up with this bomb, dynamite, nuke crap. I’m at the end of my limit with you.,

  180. Dan,
    The problem with you continuing to ask your question is twofold.
    1. I’ve given you answers, and you pretend I haven’t or ignore them, or just haven’t had time to deal with the specifics.
    2. You won’t do what you ask of us.

    Again, you refer to some “scale” of harm v. need or whatever, yet you haven’t actually provided anything that can be evaluated or responded to.

    Again, you haven’t explained why a third party (you or someone else) should be able to apportion what people need.

    Again you haven’t explained why you won’t deal with the real world of things that are actually legal for people to own, but keep trotting out NBC’s.

    “Why not answer the question?”

    I have, why won’t you?

    ” IF mine is problematic, then answer THAT and say why specifically it’s problematic.”

    It’s hard to say what specifically is problematic with your answer, since there haven’t been any specifics to seal with.

    ” If it’s too vague, then say so…”

    I have several times, yet you continue to be vague. Why?

    “… and say what your guiding principles are so I can be enlightened.”

    I have, and it seems as though you can’t/won’t.

    “It’s conversation, people. Make your case or don’t complain about others’ principles.”

    Pot meet kettle. Except, I have made my case, you just pretend otherwise.

  181. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I have, why won’t you?

    I have. You find it too vague. Fair enough. WHERE is your answer?

    What is your guiding principle that is not vague like you feel mine to be? If you don’t mind, just copy and paste your answer to that question and then I’ll know what you think your answer is (because I have not seen an answer to that question).

    Like this:

    MY ANSWER TO the question of WHAT is the guiding principle for deciding what to ban is… [copy/paste].

    If you’d be so kind as to put JUST THAT, then I can deal with your answer. As it is, I have not seen an answer.

    Thanks.

  182. Dan,

    I have too much respect for you to do your research for you. I have hope that you can successfully figure out what I’ve clearly stated several times.

    Or maybe you can just deal with the unanswered questions.

  183. paynehollow says:

    Ha! I answer question after question. you answer a few, leaving the main one unanswered, as far as I can see. I ask for a simple copy and paste of what you think your answer is to demonstrate that you HAVE answered it.

    I’ve already told you I have not seen it, so asking me to look for what I don’t see isn’t helpful. IF you have an actual answer, then it should be easy for you to paste it in again.

    Your inability to do so confirms for me that you have not answered the question. But, you could prove me wrong by pasting it in.

    Or not, it’s your call.

    The thing is, fellas, IF you want to, you know, actually make your case, you have to be willing to answer questions and clarify when someone asks for clarity. I don’t know that you can make your case so I don’t really care if you answer the questions or not. It’s not my case that is needing defending.

    ~Dan

  184. paynehollow says:

    300 comments reduced to the bare essentials…

    Dan: Here’s what I think is reasonable… X. Do you agree? If not, what are you proposing instead?

    John, et al: HA! We won’t fall for that, JERK! YOU answer the question first!

    Dan: I have answered it, in dealing with the general philosophical rationale… that IS my position, that IS my answer to the question. I don’t have specifics just yet, I don’t need them to address the general reasoning behind the point. So, what is your reasoning for your position?

    John, et al: NO! We aren’t going to tell you until you give us specifics! YOU answer that question. Ass!

    Dan: I have no specifics, I’m speaking of the general philosophy. Is my reasoning wrong? If so, where specifically? What do you propose instead?

    John, et al: HA! We’ve ALREADY answered that question!

    Dan: I’m sorry, I am reading your words and trying to find an answer and not seeing it. Would you mind just pasting your direct answer to that question so I won’t miss it?

    John, et al: NO WAY! It’s there, all you have to do is look!

    Dan: well, since I don’t see it and since you’re not willing to answer the question, I can’t really think you have made any suggestions to address. I have given you my answer and it still sounds like the only reasonable answer to me. In fact, I have not seen anything from you all to contrast mine against. Perhaps you have a case, but unless you present it, I can’t really see it, can I? Thank you for your time, gentlemen. God bless…

    ~Dan

    • All youve said is you believe in readonable restrictions and that individual citizens shouldnt have nukes, dynamite, missles, and bombs: none of which are individual citizens trying to defend themselves with. Even in the title of the post any idiot but Dan can see the discussion is about GUNS. But you, yes you, arent discussing guns are you. Nope. You discuss restricting those items above and act as though anyone steering the discussion to guns is supporting a citizens right to a nuke.

  185. Perhaps your methods, Dan, includes ignoring those who have been clear. Like me. So I’ll say again,

    1. The only principles that should be considered are those related to personal liberty. This particular principle compelled the founders to risk so much. You would deny the law-abiding, responsible citizen for vague notions of harm they would not perpetrate in the first place. Really nice.

    2. Your belief that some weapons are more dangerous ignores #1 or presumes that no such citizen exists. Very gracious of you. Your position assumes the guilt of anyone who desires to choose for themselves what weapons are most appropriate for their own self-defense. Where do you get off?

    Your very clarification of the term “potential” revolved around misuse of weaponry. But the responsible, law-abiding citizen doesn’t misuse their weapons. This is evident by the very fact that there are so many legal gun owners and so incredibly few of them who have misused their weapons.

    These two principles alone are enough to decide how to “regulate” firearms. It’s a very simple thing. The gov’t has no right to know who owns any weapon. The gov’t DOES have the right to deny the criminal and mentally unstable from owning weapons and to incarcerate them if they do.

    It also bears repeating that the same people who would accuse citizens of paranoia for worrying about islamists and other terrorists, who recognize that some people are simply evil or very prone to evil behavior, are themselves paranoid of their fellow citizens simply because they wish to defend themselves. Who are the really irrational people here? It isn’t 2nd Amendment proponents.

    The data is clear. The more gun control, the more crime and murder. The less gun control, the less likely the vermin of our society is likely to run rampant, unafraid of consequences. On a global scale, this fact of life has played out over and over again throughout history, and especially during the Cold War, which followed the US proving its capability and willingness to defend itself in a most awesome manner. None of this translates to returning evil for evil. That would be another bastardization of Scripture. It is standing up to evil which cannot contend with good men who do something.

  186. Dan’s interest lies in pissing you guys off. He plays rhetorical games. He phrases the exact same stuff 50 different ways, ignores everything you guys say, and keeps doing it because you guys keep taking the bait. Notice I’ve stopped arguing with him. It’s senseless.

  187. paynehollow says:

    Last time.

    First of all, Terrance, you do not know me or my interests. In this case, you are simply factually mistaken. I am not trying to piss anyone off (really? Who has time to do that? This isn’t high school or middle school). Nor am I playing any kind of games.

    Instead, I’m asking a reasonable question pertinent to the topic of this post.

    Secondly, I GET that you all are talking about guns (except for Marshall who, to his credit, DOES seem to have given his principles and it SEEMs like his principles include letting law-abiding citizens keep nuclear weaponry and germ warfare products). My reasonable question to you gets to the principle of WHY do we allow guns but ban certain bombs?

    IF you think we should reasonably ban and/or regulate certain explosives but think guns should be entirely unregulated/unrestricted, then I’m asking the reasonable question: WHY is it okay to ban certain weaponry but not other weaponry? On what principle do you say, “For even law-abiding ‘good’ citizens, we WILL NOT allow them to get biological agents or nuclear weapons…”? You won’t allow this because…

    This is a reasonable question. I’ve answered it. You don’t like my answer. That’s fine. What is YOUR answer to this reasonable question that gets to the principles behind what is and isn’t allowed in a free society.

    If you can’t answer it, fine, but you can’t really criticize my answer if you can’t answer it yourself.

    If your answer is, “there is NO difference. I wouldn’t ban A THING for law-abiding citizens,” that is fine and that is consistent. It’s batshit crazy, but at least it is an answer and it is even a consistent answer.

    Answer or not, it’s not an unreasonable question, nor is it a game.

    I am a busy man with a busy life taking care of friends, family, work responsibilities and church responsibilities. I have no time for “games” like this. Who does?

    ~Dan

  188. Dan,

    We all know you well-enough to know you’re only interested in playing games. You been around for, what, 3 or so years on our blogs? I got your number. I know what you’re all about. You like to get a rise out of people.

  189. “Your inability to do so confirms for me that you have not answered the question.”

    Dan, why must you lie like this. I quite clearly have not indicated an inability to answer your question, my words clearly indicate an unwillingness to do for you what you are quite capable of doing for your self.

    The fact that you seem to think that you can so easily dodge your unwillingness to answer questions and provide what you say you have provided, speaks much louder than your words.

    Answer, don’t answer, I don’t care that much, but at bare minimum, stop saying that you are the only one who answers questions, it’s complete and total crap.

    What does seem clear, is that (as you have said yourself) you are mostly ignorant of this particular subject and that you just don’t care that much about it. If this is in fact the case, then why do you feel so compelled to argue against something about which you no so little? I suspect, it is a manifestation of your socio/political/religious liberalism in that you feel compelled to argue against gun ownership just because someone of your beliefs is supposed to. You could have easily shut this whole thread down by the simple act of debunking the studies that prompted the post. When confronted with a legitimate study that goes against what you’ve been told to believe, instead of arguing the actual issue (guns), you immediately start in with NBC’s (which I suspect you still don’t know how to define), and other silliness that simply obscures the actual conversation.

    The fact that you would suggest that someone who doesn’t want to restrict law abiding US citizens from owning items (weapons, tools, explosives, etc) that are completely legal to own is “batshit crazy”, just seems to suggest someone who doesn’t understand the country the he lives in.

    :Ha! I answer question after question.”

    As have I, including the ones you claim I haven’t. If I was motivated to copy paste anything it would be the questions you’ve ignored, and the rebuttals to your hunches you’ve dodged.

    But, that would be just as much of a waste of time, and expecting you not to lie about why I won’t jump through your hoops.

  190. Dan,

    YOU are the one who thought bringing up nukes and germ warfare materials was germane to the discussion. So then I ask you, what problem do you have with responsible, law abiding people possessing ANYTHING? If you do not see yourself as being capable of possessing such items without harm befalling anyone, then you’d be a jerk to possess them. Obviously, you aren’t responsible enough to do so.

    But I refer to responsible people who aren’t law-breakers. You speak of potential harm and clarified that to mean harm from abuse of the items. But responsible people don’t abuse weaponry, otherwise they wouldn’t be responsible. So where’s your problem?

    We know that those who want will acquire regardless of any ban or regulation. But bans and regulations deny and restrict those who are responsible and law-abiding. In other words, those who would not pose a risk by their possession.

    Millions of law-enforcement personnel own weapons and do not abuse them. The same for military personnel. Our government, often cited for their malfeasance and corruption, possess all sorts of weapons, including WMDs, and they don’t commonly misuses them. This fact shows that responsible possession is common. Do you shudder at the sight of a cop with a gun? Would you wet yourself at the sight of a soldier? Yet your neighbor is a threat to you? Amazing!

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