The following is a reply to comments made on this blog
by Nide (aka “Hezekiah Ahaz”).
On the contrary, it’s rooted in reason. I’ve cited the facts and have held your hand all the way to my conclusion and assessment. I expect you to brush it off, just as your god brushes off thousands of people in a tsunami, and with as much compunction (i.e., none at all).
Your conclusion and assessment is [sic] arbitrary.
And just because you say so, right? See, you continue to confirm my view that Christians are in such a habit of confusing themselves with the god they worship in their imagination that they can’t conceal this for long in their conversations. Good going, Nide!
If people would obey God there would be no problems. This is what you are desperately trying to evade.
Nide, people have been “obeying God” for millennia. Check out history sometime, and educate yourself. Your religion is not some brand new thing that’s recently been dispensed to humanity. It’s been a round for a long time, and it’s had tremendous influence over western culture. You yourself stated that Jesus didn’t come to bring peace. Which can only mean: the Christian worldview thrives on conflict. It feeds off conflict. Without conflict it would have no opportunity to posture itself as some kind of solution (which never works when it’s implemented, because it just creates more conflict).
Nide had written:
God is just because he deals with people accordingly.
So when Saddam Hussein dealt with his subjects ‘accordingly’, he was being ‘just’? I guess I don’t follow you. Wanna try again?
Nide then responded:
No, he was delusional.
You see, the reason why I asked what I asked, Nide, is to get you to realize that what you stated is extremely vague and ambiguous, so much so that one could take the “logic” of what you had stated about your god being “just” and apply it to anyone. Saying that someone “deals with people accordingly” does not provide sufficient information. There’s nothing there which limits what you were saying to just one entity. So why can’t it apply to other entities, like Saddam Hussein? Blank out.
This kind of thing happens over and over when trying to have a conversation with you, so much so that it’s apparently deliberate on your part. And along with it came the usual personal slander, such as when you also stated right after this: “Just like you are.” If you really think I’m deluded, Nide, why do you continue to come over to my blog? You only succeed in making a bigger fool of yourself each time you do post here. You know that, don’t you?
Are you speaking for yourself here? Paul considered himself a sinner (cf., e.g., Romans 3:7). I guess Paul didn’t want to ‘live after him’?
Living after God's character.
The Christian god is portrayed as expecting its worshippers to be ready to kill on command, abandoning its own child when its life is threatened, and sacrificing treasure for the sake of trash. How does one “live” after this kind of “character”? Can you explain this? Do you do this in your own life? Or do you just say it’s the right thing, but act otherwise? Be honest here, Nide. Which is it?
Well, first of all, if each individual was created by your god, your god created them as individuals. So it’s not really a matter of ‘letting’ them be individuals; he created them that way according to Christian myth.
No, he didn't. They chose otherwise.
Again you give us more incoherence. You must be assuming a meaning to the term ‘individual’ that has nothing to do with the meaning I ascribe to this term. Can you explain what you mean by “individual” in that case? And what is the alternative to being an individual? If man is not an individual, what is he? Then you can go on to explain how human beings are not individuals (if that’s what you think), how they were not originally created according to your worldview as individuals (which your above reply indicates – i.e., if they weren’t created as individuals, what were they created as?), and how something that is not already an individual can choose to become one.
But how does being an individual ‘lead to destruction’? You sound like Mao Tse Tung – he also hated individualism, and did everything he could to stamp it out. He was quite effective, since he used the muzzle of a gun to get what he wanted. How did Mao disobey the Christian god?
By not loving God and his neighbor.
How can we know that Mao did not love his neighbor? Which neighbor was he supposed to love, and how do we know that he didn’t love that neighbor? Maybe Mao did what he did *because* he loved his neighbor.
I have to warn you, Nide, that I will keep your worldview’s premises in mind when trying to interpret what you say. I John 4:8 says that “God is love” and throughout the bible this “loving God” is characterized as perversely indifferent to human values. So when the bible has the Christian god commanding people to “love” their neighbor, it cannot mean what Objectivists mean by love, i.e., unflinching devotion to one’s values and the welfare of his family members and friends. We need to interpret such commands as Christianity understands them, not in the manner as non-Christian worldviews inform them. So you need to stop borrowing from my worldview, Nide. You say that Mao disobeyed the Christian god by not loving said god and his neighbor, but you have not established this, especially going by Christianity’s conception of ‘love’. So you have some unfinished homework here.
Mao set himself up to be a ‘god’. The problem is demons can't be God.
I thought Mao was a mere mortal human being. Indeed, it seems that Mao was “living after God’s character.” He rejected individualism (just as Christianity does), he sought to cleanse his nation’s population of unwanted people (just like Yahweh when it caused a global flood), and basically treated people as having an obligation to serve something higher than themselves (cf. “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”). Indeed, many parallels here, and since you seem to think the proper ideal for man can be summed up in the words “living after God’s character,” it seems that Mao was right on track with the Christian god. Indeed, didn’t the Christian god, according to Christianity, create Mao Tse Tung? Didn’t the Christian god, which “controls whatsoever comes to pass” (Van Til, The Defense of the Faith, p. 160), ensure that Mao and his evils were all part of its plan, and control Mao to do what he did? Seems like there’s no way out of this one for the Christian. You make your bed with such a worldview, you sleep in it.
Christ dying on the cross is a matter of a father turning his back on his own child. That’s precisely what you are calling ‘love and mercy’. Your ‘love and mercy’ consists of willingly allowing one’s values be destroyed by the scum of the earth. To quote Rand: “That is precisely how the symbolism is used.”
No, to destroy what you call values.
Since you’re essentially agreeing with me, you need to revise this statement to say, “Yes, to destroy what you call values.” You’re not contradicting anything I’ve said here. In fact, you’re confirming it all. It would be amazing if you didn’t see this. But perhaps you don’t. It may be that you have some genuine mental deficiencies and have a very hard time making simple logical inferences. I don’t say this to be insulting; if it’s true, I would say it’s no laughing matter. But I would be wrong to dismiss this possibility because it happens with such frequency that it could be the very explanation for your very odd online behavior that makes the most sense given the evidence.
Nide had written:
You're right it's not just that treasure should die for trash.
Of course I’m right. But that’s what my worldview teaches: that treasure should never be sacrificed for trash, that values should never be sacrificed for non-values. So when you concede the fact that I am right here, you are conceding the truth of my worldview’s morality.
Nide then stated:
Which is no morality at all.
So you think it is moral to sacrifice treasure for trash? My morality teaches that treasure should NOT be sacrificed for trash, that no one should die for another person’s benefit. In response to what I’ve been saying, you come across as so double-minded as to be borderline insane: on the one hand you express agreement with my position that “treasure should not die for trash.” But then when I explain how this is what my morality teaches – that values should not be sacrificed for non-values – you say it’s “no morality at all.” You come across as extremely confused on the most fundamental of matters.
Your right becuase deep down inside you really have Christian values.
The notion “Christian values” is a contradiction in terms. When laying out its moral tenets, the bible never makes *any* references to values. The bible commands men to sacrifice their values (cf. Mt. 19:21, Rom. 12:1, et al.), requires them to be willing to kill on command (cf. the story of Abraham and Isaac), portrays its god as totally indifferent to human values (indiscriminately wiping them out with global floods, earthquakes, famines, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis and other disasters) and offers as its formula for redemption a father abandoning its only child when the scum of the earth come to torture and execute it. So the notion of “Christian values” is profoundly oxymoronic; the concept of values cannot be integrated with the Christian worldview – it represents their destruction at every turn, from its metaphysics of supernatural agents which destroy human values at will, to its “epistemology” of abandoning reason in preference for faith in revelations, from its ethics of self-sacrifice to its politics of collectivism and anti-individualism.
It seems that you really don’t grasp any of this, and are just reacting without understanding anything that’s been explained to you.
Meanwhile you’ve said that my morality, which I’ve clearly stated is premised on an individual’s devotion to his values, “is no morality at all,” that Christ’s purpose was “to destroy what [I] call values,” and also condemned the individualism which such a morality requires in the context of interpersonal relationships is “satanic.”
So your claim that “deep down inside [I] really have Christian values” is completely untenable. To say this only indicates that you’re really not aware of what Christianity teaches.
”…grevious…”? What’s that? Your Christ is a fabrication, Nide, just like Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, Superman and Buck Rogers. You continue to kick against the pricks without ever making any fruitful points for your position. It really is amusing to watch.
How do you know?
I’ve done my homework on this topic, Nide. It’s on my blog, much of it in the latter half of 2008. If you’re really interested, you can check out blog posts Nos. 151 through 163 from my archives
(also available here
But I’m guessing you’ll dismiss all this with some one-liner.
Nide also said:
Your imagination doesn't count as evidence.
That’s true, Nide. And if you examine my homework, which I’ve posted for the whole world to examine and tear apart, you’ll see that I nowhere appeal to my imagination to seal my case. I examine the record as it is presented to us in the NT and also numerous extrabiblical sources from the ANE. None of these things are creations of my imagination.
You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. Yours is the worldview that puts faith in invisible magic beings, not mine.
Better than putting my faith in demons.
Actually, I don’t know how a believer can distinguish his god from the demons, devils and unclean spirits portrayed in the biblical storybook. On every fundamental they share essentials. The differences are almost non-existent, and not available to human reason. So this is a most perplexing epistemological conundrum which Christianity cannot overcome.
Some of it is. Some of it is inferential. But all of it is wholly consistent with reason as my worldview conceives of it. In other words, you’re not going to be able to find an internal inconsistency in my worldview. But keep trying. Knock yourself out.
I have found many.
In fact, you’ve not uncovered one. I know you are unhappy with this fact, but it won’t change.
You said you had an example of an internal inconsistency in my worldview.
<< For example, how you know and you don't know. >>
Where’s the inconsistency in my worldview? The “example” you’ve given hear appears to be a topic (“how you know”) and a claim of yours (“you don’t know”). To expose an internal inconsistency in my worldview you’ll have to find two points which are contextually contradictory to one another. If you think you’ve found some, let’s see them. Bring them out. Maybe you’ve misunderstood something, in which case I can correct you. And if you’re willing to stand being corrected, maybe you’ll learn something. Would that be so bad?
Nide had written:
You don't have an exhaustive understanding of what you call reality so therefore your claims are arbitrary.
Non sequitur. By the way, Nide, do you have an exhaustive understanding of what you call reality? Are you really omniscient? Can you tell me what I had for breakfast today? Or is actual existence not part of what you call reality?
Now Nide writes:
No, but YHWH does.
Typically the argument for the premise that lack of omniscience entails global skepticism (which is the argument which your statement rests on) argues that “unless one knows everything
about the universe, the interrelatedness of the universe means that whatever reasons or grounds one has for one’s beliefs the possibility remains of some fact coming to light that radically undermines those reasons or grounds” (James Anderson, If Knowledge Then God
, p. 20). Unfortunately for this argument, appealing to a god which is believed to have exhaustive knowledge of the universe does not help the Christian crawl out from under its debilitating weight. Basically you express agreement with the argument’s premise (since you’ve affirmed it and you want to use it to corner me into a position of total ignorance and uncertainty), but by doing so you acknowledge that, if you yourself do not have the exhaustive knowledge which stands as a precondition for any
knowledge, then any knowledge claim you make is subject to the same vulnerability which Anderson identifies here: “the possibility remains of some fact coming to light that radically undermines” your reasons for claiming what you claim. In fact, the argument’s own premises cannot escape its own conclusion’s implications. So your own argument is consummately self-defeating.
You need to try something else, for this is a philosophical dead-end.
If I do foolish things, this will very likely happen. Indeed, when I tried to be a Christian, reality showed me the foolishness of my ways. My life has improved a thousand-fold since I learned this lesson.
It could be a satanic trick. watch out.
I'm confident that you would prefer to believe this. But you have a habit of positing scenarios as genuine possibilities without giving any evidence to support the claim that such scenarios are indeed worthy of being accepted as real possibilities. Your “could” here has no rational basis. So I’m happy to reject it.
But on what basis? Your worldview opposes individualism and insists on complete indifference to values. So you must be suspending your worldview in order to borrow from mine to do this.
No we oppose satanic individualism which you hold to.
Earlier you made pronouncements against individualism which were unqualified and thereby implicitly universal. With your latest set of replies on the matter, you’ve changed this by qualifying the individualism which my worldview champions as “satanic individualism,” without identifying any alternative form of individualism against which “satanic individualism” can be contrasted. Moreover, you’ve not identified what about the position I have laid out qualifies it as “satanic” in nature, how you know it’s “satanic,” or what essential distinctives tell us that a form of individualism is “satanic” or something else. You seem to have introduced this modifier because you’ve sensed that opposing individualism is another philosophical dead-end for you, and that in order to recover from your glaring mistake here, you have to start re-dealing the hand you’re holding.
What you apparently don’t understand is the fact that the only alternative to individualism is some form of collectivism. There aren’t different kinds of individualism: either man has the right to exist for his own sake, or he doesn’t. Your worldview explicitly denies man just this right, as I have shown in my blog entry above, and it won’t change simply because you start inventing arbitrary subcategories for the concept.
Unfortunately you don’t show how valuing what I think (and know) is good for me ‘really leads to pain and suffering’, as you had claimed. Do you ever make good on your words, Nide? Or do you abandon what you say as easily as your god abandoned his only begotten son when he was nailed to the cross?
Nide shifted back into slogan mode:
Not thinking God's thoughts after him.
So really, you have nothing to offer to substantiate your statement. Instead, all you do is repeat a canned presuppositionalist slogan which has no rational content whatsoever. It could only mean reading some divine mind, in which case I’d really like to know how the believer who attempts to practice it can reliably distinguish what he thinks are his “God’s thoughts” from other things, such as his own imagination or suggestions from unclean spirits. There’s also the issue of human fallibility; unless you claim that you yourself are infallible (in which case you would be “God” and wouldn’t need to “think” someone else’s thoughts “after him”), then you will always have to face the possibility that you could be getting something wrong whenever you attempt to “think God’s thoughts after him.”
Why not simply be honest about your humanity, the nature of your consciousness, and recognize that reason is the only faculty which meets man’s epistemological needs?
Then if you help your neighbor, you’re doing so because you value it, not because you’re commanded to. See the beauty of Objectivism?
No, I do it becuase God commanded it.
Then you contradict your earlier statement that you value helping your neighbor. If you do it “becuase [sic] God commanded it,” then you do it regardless of whether or not you value it; your values become irrelevant at that point. When you obey something because you’re supposed to obey commands, then values cease being the motivators of actions and the ends they’re intended to achieve. Besides, I don’t think I’ve ever seen in the bible a commandment to the effect of “thou shalt help your neighbor.” So again you seem to have misunderstood something in your own worldview.
“objectivism” is useless.
This is an autobiographical statement. Objectivism is useless to those who refuse to be honest about reality and the nature of their own consciousness. Objectivism cannot help such people. This is the nature of the cause of your resentment for Objectivism.
Well, you’ll have to speak for yourself here. I’ve known many, many Christians who rejoice at Jesus’s pain and suffering on the cross. As they say, ‘His pain, our gain’. Sort of says it all, don’t you think?
Why not? Don’t you believe Jesus endured pain on the cross? Don’t you believe Christians have benefited from the “work” Jesus did on the cross? You are a most odd Christian – you seem so reluctant to maintain any consistent stand for your worldview.
No, I celebrate life.
We both know that’s not the case, Nide. If you celebrated life, you would embrace individualism (the individual has the inalienable right to live for his own sake), which you have called “satanic,” and the objective theory of values, which you have said “leads to destruction.” If life were important to you, you would not have allowed yourself to be suckered in by Christianity. And now that you’ve been suckered in by it, you feel that you have to defend it, even though doing so regularly makes you foolish.
According to reality, I’m getting a lot of what I do right. But according to folks like you, you will try not to admit when I’m right most of the time.
Because of your Christian values.
Again, the notion of “Christian values” is a contradiction in terms. I have shown how my worldview is compatible with my selfish actions of securing and enjoying my life. There’s not one thing “Christian” about any of it, I can assure you of that. I hold consistently to the primacy of existence, I rely on reason as my only means of knowledge, I pursue my own values, and earn them by my own effort. I have a daughter and I do precisely what the Christian god did not do for its son: I protect her from harm and intervene when I even suspect any harm might come to her. Moreover, I would never command her to kill another person, or expect her to be willing to kill another person.
You really don’t know what your worldview teaches, do you, Nide?
Doing something to suit one’s own needs is hardly wrong in my worldview. When I need water, I go to the refrigerator and pour myself a glass of cold water. Thus I act to suit my own needs. So this is no objection. Really, your statement here appears to stem from personal resentment, probably for the fact that you can’t put even a tiny scratch in the iron siding of my logic.
Yea, I drink water too.
If you do so to quench your thirst and make the continuance of your life possible, then you do it for selfish reasons. You cannot justify such actions on a worldview which condemns selfishness as wrong. This is a good example: every time you drink water, you are directly benefiting from your own actions, and your neighbor isn’t, so you are in fact denying your own worldview’s morality and borrowing from mine. I say that’s good! Now you just need to come out of the closet and admit that Christianity is evil and reject it in its entirety.
God control things in a way that the choices of men are free. it's amazing.
Sounds all very self-contradictory to me. And you provide no reason at all – not even a bad reason – for supposing otherwise. Why am I not surprised?
So you acknowledge then that, according to the Christian myth, the ultimate source of all evil, pain, suffering and wrongdoing is its god.
Nide asserted again:
He allowed it. adam actuated it.
If your god “allowed” evil, then it could have disallowed it as well, which means it is the ultimate source of evil, as I have argued. That “adam [sic] actuated it” just means that Adam was a mere pawn, a puppet, doing precisely what it was controlled to do, controlled by the Christian god. And to think, if Christianity were in fact true, what a different world this would be if its god were truly righteous – i.e., consistently and uncompromisingly acted to prevent evil at all times.
by Dawson Bethrick
Labels: Christian Psychopathy, Morality, Presuppositional Gimmickry, problem of evil