Hey MALformed, another laughably stupid atheist who's spending so much time on this blog thread when considering your atheistic convictions and worldview. You only have a limited time on earth before you die. Why spend those precious moments debating Hodge and other Christians?
LOL, the MALformed atheist! That's a good one!
No doubt TUaD is trying his level best to conduct himself admirably in his exchanges with NAL and Rian. The only question then would be: who admires this? Of course, this moral ambitiousness on TUaD’s part explains why he continually wants to remind the audience that he thinks NAL and Rian are stupid. But given the great lengths TUaD goes to maintain civility and charitableness in his conversation, it is unclear why he would be so concerned about what NAL and Rian do in their spare time. After all, by interacting with some as intelligent as TUaD so clearly is, some of that great intellect might rub off on these presumably less-endowed fellows. One would think that, given his astounding display of unquestionable virtue, TUaD would be pleased to share his unrivaled prowess with such puny earthlings. Indeed, isn’t knowledge revealed from the heavens something one as magnanimous as TUaD would want to share with others?
Clearly NAL and Rian have misunderstood and underestimated the excellence of moral character that TUaD has clearly achieved and demonstrates before all. It could only be a gift from the supernatural!
That’s right, it’s so uncanny, “must be God did it!”
I suppose it has not dawned on TUaD that he might very well be taken by non-believers as a representative of Christianity, and that his behavior will be seen as an example of the smug self-righteousness that characterizes the incalculable hordes of the holier-than-thou specimens that have come before him. Maybe TUaD is simply doing what he can to be, as one source puts it, “less ‘artificially womanly’.”
Now it is not necessarily the case that TUaD’s honed skills in name-calling and his “you’re so stupid” attitude were picked up on the playground. Given the age level that TUaD demonstrates here and elsewhere in the thread, I’d say he has yet to step foot on a playground. That won’t come until he begins kindergarten.
So I surmise that TUaD has learned this behavior from other Christian believers. After all, church really is a monkey-see, monkey-do environment, especially for “baby saints” like this one.
Indeed, it may very well be one of the first items on the curriculum at Sunday school: “Insult non-believers. That’ll get ‘em!” No doubt TUaD is doing his best to make Christianity attractive to whatever remnant of the imago dei may still be residing in the hearts of those whom he so delightfully berates. It’s all part of Evangelism 101. Another holy one, the late John Robbins, reminds us of this when he points out that
most professed Christians today seem never to have gotten past Matthew 7. That’s too bad, for they should proceed to read Matthew 23. In that chapter alone, Christ calls the scribes and Pharisees names 16 times. The names are “hypocrites” (7 times), “son of Hell” (once),”blind guides” (twice), “fools and blind” (3 times), “whited sepulchres” (once), “serpents” (once), and “offspring of vipers” (once). Since Christ was without sin, we may deduce by good and necessary consequence that name-calling as such is not a sin. Since everything Christ did was righteous and virtuous, we may deduce by good and necessary consequence that accurate name-calling is a virtue. (The Virtue of Name-Calling)
Egads, someone might call me an "offspring of vipers" next! Now, don't anyone do that, because that would really put me in my place!
Now, we should not fool ourselves here. No matter how many disclaimers are given in evangelistic instruction about how each human being is “the image of God” and how they are to “speak the truth in love” (as we see so beautifully rendered in TUaD’s exchanges with NAL and Rian), it really is irresistible for missionizing believers (and apologists in particular) to look down at us “lost sinners” who are “hardhearted” and “given over” to all manner of carnality and iniquity, just as it is ultimately impossible – even if they do their best to resist – the temptation to assume a position of moral superiority over people who have not bought into their imaginary fairy-tale.
So the nature of the “moral ambitiousness” which TUaD’s behavior exhibits in all this, is the ambition accurately summed up in the following: “Become a Christian today, and you too can talk down to people like we do!”
I have the sneaking suspicion, however, that TUaD’s efforts have not been successful in persuading Rian and NAL of any claim to truth on the part of the Christian worldview. Of course, TUaD might very well say something to the effect that this is their fault, not his, and certainly not his god’s. He might say, for instance, that they’re “hard-hearted”. But this would only imply that the opposite, “soft-hearted,” means being thin-skinned and easily manipulated by insults and condescension. So that would not be a very productive excuse. On the other hand, TUaD might say he’s not trying to persuade anyone in the first place. But that’s already evident: a person does not persuade another to his cause with insults and condescension. Such are not the tactics of someone with a truth to persuade others to accept; rather, these are the tactics of someone who scorns mature discussion and seeks to intimidate those who disagree. But let’s be fair to TUaD: maybe this is the only way he knows how to demonstrate that he’s the real McCoy.
But I would not say that TUaD’s behavior is entirely ineffectual in regard to persuading us on anything. On the contrary it is highly effective in persuading us that he’s irrational. Which brings us to the final question: if TUaD is not trying to persuade anyone, what is he hoping to accomplish with his barrage of insults and condescension? Isn’t this significantly similar to the question he posed to NAL above?
I suspect that TUaD is really just trying to find some momentary way to feel better about his losses resulting from his commitment to Christianity – personal losses, such as maturity, character, spirit, the chance for happiness, etc. After all, if he has not lost these, then he hasn’t surrendered them to Christ. Which means: he has not obeyed the biblical instruction that he “die to self.”
I’m sure glad these aren’t my problems!
by Dawson Bethrick